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Wire Taps: Nationals vs Mets in Citi Field tonight, Doug Fister vs NY in Queens

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The Washington Nationals got a much-needed (for everyone) day off on Monday, but they start a three-game set in Citi Field tonight with Doug Fister on the mound in the series opener with the New York Mets in Flushing, Queens.

Elsa

RIP. NSFW, but the first scene that came to mind last night...[ed. note - "And seriously, Gus Van Sant directed the h**k out of this movie."]:


• THE BIG STORY!!!:

• "Manager Matt Williams is one of Span's biggest supporters. Despite calls that Span should hit down in the order, Williams never wavered. Span is his leadoff hitter for the rest of the season." - "Even-keeled Denard Span making big impact for Nats" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• NATS BEAT:

• "Taylor and Souza are just the beginning of what should be an infusion of minor league talent in September." - "Looking ahead to Nats’ 2014 September call-ups" - Chase Hughes, Nats Insider

• "Werth took a moment to reflect and then offered an interesting response about hitting and perceptions about it." - "The Nationals’ second-half hitters" - James Wagner, Washington Post

• "The Nationals and Braves will not see each other again for nearly a month when the Nats host Atlanta on Sept. 8. That will begin a stretch where the two teams play six of 10 games against each other." - "State of the Nats: Pennant race set to heat up" - Chase Hughes, Nats Insider

• "The Nationals open a three-game series with the New York Mets on Tuesday, the beginning of a stretch of 16 games in 16 days in which they face only two teams with winning records." - "Washington Nationals leave Atlanta feeling pretty good, despite losing 2 of 3 games" - James Wagner, The Washington Post

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

• NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

• "Gio is not really known as a fly ball pitcher; in fact, he's spent more time above the average ground ball rate than below it." - "Gio Gonzalez and consistent success" - Kevin Ruprecht, Beyond the Box Score

• "Teams routinely put their players through waivers in August with no intention of moving them, in part to mask other players they hope to sneak through..." - "Report: Niese, Grandy clear waivers" - Adam Rubin, Mets Blog - ESPN New York

• "Harper is a nice young man, by most accounts, and he didn't mean any harm, but sometimes he does seem the 21 years he is. And sometimes, even younger." - "Stock Watch: Nationals getting most out of lineup with Span in center" - Jon Hemyan, CBSSports.com

• "Stephen Strasburg is 1-8 with a 5.25 ERA in 12 road starts this season. Overall, he already has surrendered 18 homers in 2014, two more than his previous career high." - "Series preview: Mets vs. Nationals" - Adam Rubin, Mets Blog - ESPN New York

• "And yet again, the Braves are surely asking: What to do about B.J. Upton?" - "The Braves beat the Nats, but what about B.J.?" - Mark Bradley, Mark Bradley blog

• "Over the weekend, Bryce Harper defiled the Braves logo behind home plate at Turner Field. Absolutely defiled it." - "The beauty of Bryce Harper defiling the Braves logo" - Grant Brisbee, SBNation.com

• "Some innings, Strasburg looks like a No. 1 draft pick and a future Hall of Famer. The next, he's clueless. Giving up three two-run homers against Atlanta during the series opener Aug. 8 was pathetic." - "Nationals Must Still Show Playoff Mettle" - Rick Snider, Pressbox DC

• "The Nationals are clearly in the process of running much of their roster through waivers, as USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reports..." - "Desmond, Gonzalez Clear Waivers; Strasburg, Harper Pulled Back After Claims" - Steve Adams, MLB Trade Rumors

• "The Mets had their best shot of getting a head start on Washington with another strong outing from rookie Jacob deGrom." - "Washington Nationals at New York Mets - August 12, 2014" - Marla Torres, MLB.com Preview

• eMb:

• "Before that one loss, the Expos had won 20 of 22 games and had all the makings of the best team in the majors. But it was all downhill from there for Montreal Expos baseball." - "1994 MLB Strike Anniversary: What if the Expos won the 1994 World Series?" - Matt Snyder, CBSSports.com

• "While Keri is an admitted stats geek, he chose to go beneath and beyond the numbers in chronicling the history of Les Expos, both on the field and off." - "Nationals Buzz: Keri's 'Up, Up, & Away' should be required reading for Nats fans" - Pete Kerzel, MASNSports.com

• NATS MINORS:

Low-A Hagerstown: "Lucas Giolito's 2014 season has been so good that even the obstacles of opposing lineups don't seem to be enough for the right-hander. Now he's creating challenges for himself." - "Down a pitch, top Washington Nationals prospect Lucas Giolito silences Delmarva" - Tyler Maun, MiLB.com News

• "Nationals No. 1 prospect Lucas Giolito threw five scoreless innings and second baseman Wilmer Difo collected a career-high five hits Monday..." - "Nationals prospects Lucas Giolito, Wilmer Difo lead way in Class A win" - Teddy Cahill, nationals.com: News

• "Nationals prospect Wilmer Difo is riding a six-game hitting streak and continues to impress at low Single-A Hagerstown. He is batting .407 (11-for-27) in those..." - "Difo and Yezzo having big weeks in Hagerstown" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

Triple-A Syracuse: "The Syracuse Chiefs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, fell to the Charlotte Knights, 9-3, on Monday night at NBT Bank Stadium." - "The Syracuse Chiefs fell to the Charlotte Knights, 9-3, on Monday evening. Will Rhymes hit a three-run home run in the loss" - Syracuse Chiefs News

Triple-A Syracuse: "The Syracuse Chiefs (68-52) remain at the top of the North Division in the International League, nearing 70 days in a row of being in first place." - "Slugger Brandon Laird powering Syracuse Chiefs during playoff run" - Tom Eschen, CNYcentral.com

Triple-A Syracuse: "Syracuse Chiefs reliever Aaron Barrett rolled out of a rare off-day last week looking tanned and relaxed." - "Syracuse Chiefs reliever Aaron Barrett taking control of his career" - Lindsay Kramer, syracuse.com

• NATSTOWN:

• "A letter from Bill Taft" - Curly W Live

• "Missing games for a hand injury that has apparently sapped his power, he is certainly not playing like a superstar, hitting .249/.335/.363 on the season." - "Another Harper Disappointment" - cfliegel, The Nationals Review

• "Gio Gonzalez hikes baseball between his legs (Video)" - Nats Enquirer

• "In keeping with the Nationals’ most recent goofy home run celebration, Fister snatched Adam LaRoche’s helmet off his head..." - "Doug Fister’s dugout hoop skills are rusty" - Scott Allen, The Washington Post

• NL EAST UPDATES:

Mets: "While deGrom heals, 23-year-old rookie Rafael Montero will come up from Triple-A Las Vegas and enter the rotation..." - "Mets Catch a Break as deGrom Won't Need Surgery" - Jared Diamond, WSJ

Braves: "That’s a little over one-third of a season, and the Braves would gladly take a .292 average and .376 OBP from Heyward for a full year..." - "Braves’ Heyward becoming player we expected" - David O'Brien, Atlanta Braves blog

Marlins: "There was no denying Stanton on Monday as the slugging right fielder became the Marlins' all-time leader with 13 multi-homer games while powering Miami to a 6-5 win over the Cardinals at Marlins Park." - "Stanton homers twice to power Marlins past Cardinals" - Craig Davis, Sun Sentinel

Phillies: "Ruben Amaro Jr.’s financial handiwork has given us another contender for the hallowed ‘worst team money can buy’ tag..." - "The Detroit Tigers are Too Reminiscent of the Philadelphia Phillies’ Recent Fall" - Mike Cardillo, The Big Lead