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Wire Taps: Nationals and Mets start a three-game set in Nationals Park

The Washington Nationals are back in the nation's capital after a disappointing 2-4 trip to Oakland and Arizona and they'll play 15 of the next 19 games at home in Nationals Park. A three-game set with the New York Mets starts tonight at 7:05 pm EDT.

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H. Darr Beiser-USA TODAY Sports

As's Adam Rubin noted in a preview of the weekend series between the New York Mets and Washington Nationals, the Nats' NL East rivals have been shut out in each of the last two games heading into this weekend's three-game set in the nation's capital. The Mets haven't, however, "... been shut out in three straight games since July 25-27, 1992." The 19-21 Mets have dropped seven of their last ten. They are 0-3 against the Nationals this season, having been swept in the season-opening series in Citi Field. The Mets were 4-5 in Nationals Park last season, but they dropped seven of 10 games in NY to finish 7-12 against the Nats in 2013.

"It started off really bad for us and then we won the first one and it's nice to get this one to go home on a positive note with an off day so guys can get some rest." - Nats' skipper Matt Williams on road trip and day off on Thursday

The Nationals pulled off another comeback victory on Wednesday afternoon in Arizona. It was their 12th comeback win in 40 games so far in 2014, and a much-needed one that left the Nationals 2-4 on the six-game trip to Oakland's Coliseum and Chase Field.

"We needed this one," Matt Williams told reporters after the win over the D-Backs on Wednesday. "It salvages the road trip. It started off really bad for us and then we won the first one and it's nice to get this one to go home on a positive note with an off day so guys can get some rest."

After the day of rest on Thursday, the 21-19 Nationals play 15 of their next 19 games in Nationals Park, with just a short trip to Pittsburgh interrupting the stay in D.C.

The Nationals had an off day yesterday and the baseball writers following the team and covering them locally and nationally took a day off too, so it's a lighter-than-usual edition of Wire Taps today. You can find as many links as we could find below... starting... RIGHT NOW!!:


• "Washington Nationals fans should welcome closer Rafael Soriano with open arms when the Nationals return home Friday for a three-game series with the New York Mets..." - "LOVERRO: Rafael Soriano make you nervous? Don't hate — appreciate" - Thom Loverro, Washington Times


• "Odd as it sounds, this counts as good news for the Nationals: The Nationals have scored 33 runs in May, dead last in all of baseball, with a team slash line of .224/.277/.350." - "Nationals in good position despite uneven play" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

• "Tyler Clippard’s had a solid stretch and is quietly rebounding from a tough April. He earned two wins this week in the Diamondbacks series..." - "Nationals Stock Watch: Rough road trip out West" - Daniel Shiferaw, Nats Insider

• "Despite the struggles in the first couple weeks back, Ramos will be key if the Nationals are going to make a postseason run this year." - "Three things Ramos adds to the middle of the Nats’ lineup" - Jason Butt, Washington Post

• "[Niese] will open the Mets' series at Nationals Park opposite right-hander Tanner Roark, who has also been terrific more often than not." - "New York Mets at Washington Nationals - May 16, 2014" - Anthony DiComo, Preview

• "Baseball, the sport with no clock, is filled with spare time — and not simply the idle periods between innings, pitching changes and even pitches, but also before and after games." - "Major league baseball players have a lot of time on their hands" - James Wagner, The Washington Post

• "The Baseball Show: How much have Nats missed LaRoche?" - Chase Hughes, Nats Insider

• "Two former Nationals now pitch for the Tigers -- Ian Krol has been effective out of the bullpen, while Robbie Ray is a promising starter." - "Former Nationals Ian Krol, Robbie Ray Aid First-place Tigers" - David Driver, Pressbox DC

• Your Daily Message from the Dalai Lama on Twitter (@DalaiLama):


• "The New York Mets are one of the worst offensive teams in baseball, and that's been evident of late." - "MLB Preview - New York Mets at Washington Nationals" -

• "Craig Stammen is off to another strong start this season as the Versailles High School alumnus has a 3.00 ERA for the Washington Nationals." - "Stammen off to strong start to 2014 season" - Kyle Shaner,

• "The New York Mets today announced the return of the popular "Strikeouts for Savings" promotion when the Mets visit the Washington Nationals for a three-game series starting tomorrow night." - "Mets 'Strikeouts for Savings' returns with Mets-Nationals Series starting tomorrow night" - News

• "May 16, 1990: "The eight straight singles equaled a record set by the Washington Senators against Cleveland in 1951 and matched by the Oakland Athletics against Chicago in 1981." - "This Date in Baseball" - USA TODAY Sports

• "CAN SOMEONE PLEASE tell me what's up with Jayson Werth's hair? Was there a full moon when his pictures were being taken? Because that is the most unsightly, unkempt baseball player I have ever seen or ever will see." - "Fan Line: Penn State has reasons to be proud; Jayson Werth needs a hair adjustment" -

• "If there was a preseason lock to win a division, the Nationals were clearly among the leading deadbolts." - "The disappointments and surprises of a young MLB season" - Buddy Thomas,

• "ESPN MLB Mock Draft" - Keith Law, ESPN


• "The Hagerstown starters challenge each other and help one another, feeding off the starter before them." - "Lucas Giolito and Hagerstown’s flame-throwing rotation" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

Class-A Auburn: "The Auburn Doubledays of the New York-Penn League, Single-A Short-Season affiliate of the Washington Nationals, is looking for workers to fill out their employment roster for the 2014 season." - "Want to work at the ball park this summer? Auburn Doubledays hosting job fair" - Charley Hannagan,

High-A Potomac: "The Potomac Nationals (20-16, 10-8) and Myrtle Beach Pelicans (25-13, 10-8) were washed out of an opportunity to play their series opener of a four-game set on Field at Pelicans Ballpark on Thursday evening..." - "P-Nats and Pelicans Washed Out Thursday" - Potomac Nationals News

Double-A Harrisburg: "Also, what happened to the all-you-can-eat seats? And will the first-base bleachers be upgraded?" - "Can we get married at Metro Bank Park? Or smoke our e-cigs there? Harrisburg Senators mailbag" - Geoff Morrow,

Triple-A Syracuse: "The Chiefs carried a 2-0 lead into the ninth behind six scoreless innings from Taylor Jordan, but Toledo rallied for three runs in the final frame and won on a game-ending balk." - "Mud Hens clip Chiefs on walkoff balk" - Syracuse Chiefs News


• "And don’t forget baseball. Take in a Nationals game, if possible, among cheering fans and very good stadium chow." - "36 Hours in Washington, D.C." - Jennifer Steinhauer,

• "Washington Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman will once again host 'A Night at the Park,' presented by MASN Sports at Nationals Park on Monday, June 16." - "NATS: Ryan Zimmerman to Host 5th Annual ziMS 'A Night at the Park'" - Cheryl Nichols, District Sports Page

• "Nationals Park already offers free bike valet, but it’s too small-scale to keep up with the growing demand, says Weidman, who sees a big opportunity with sporting events." - "Handlebar stash: Two Wheel Valet’s plans to revolutionize bike parking in D.C." - Vicky Hallett, Washington Post


Phillies: "Just because Darin Ruf is finished with his rehab assignment and off the disabled list doesn’t mean he’s on the fast track to the Phillies’ lineup." - "Ruf still has work to do before return to Phillies" - John Finger, Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia

Mets: "After getting shut out in back-to-back games at home to split the Subway Series with the Yankees and drop two games under .500, the Mets (19-21) play a weekend series in D.C. against the beat-up Washington Nationals." - "Morning Briefing: D.C. weekend looms" - Adam Rubin, Mets Blog - ESPN New York

Marlins: "The 6-4 Marlins' loss was their sixth in eight games on the current West Coast swing." - "San Francisco Giants get away with foot fault in win over Miami Marlins" - Juan C. Rodriguez, Sun Sentinel

Braves: "The Braves have hit .273 with an .812 OPS against left-handed pitchers. But they have compiled approximately 80 percent of their plate appearances against right-handed pitchers, who have limited them to a .220 batting average and a .625 OPS." - "Atlanta Braves are in first, but offense needs plenty of work" - Mark Bowman, News

• MLB:

• "Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig moved a step closer to the end of his 23-year tenure Thursday, announcing the formation of a seven-person search committee, made up of team owners, tasked with identifying his successor ahead of his scheduled January 2015 retirement." - "MLB committee to name Selig successor" - Dave Sheinin, The Washington Post