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Wire Taps: Nationals win eighth straight, turn to Tanner Roark looking for no.9

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The Washington Nationals beat the Arizona Diamondbacks for a second straight game and won their eighth overall Tuesday night in Nationals Park. Can Tanner Roark lead the Nats to their ninth win in a row?

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Though Matt Williams has thus far refused to look beyond the next day's game when speaking to reporters in his post game press conferences, he talked Tuesday night about the position the Washington Nationals find themselves in after they won their eighth straight game, 8-1, over the Arizona Diamondbacks to improve to 71-53 overall on the season.

"[Lobaton's] been calling great games for me. He's been working really hard back there, getting a lot of borderline calls in my favor." -QOTD: Strasburg on start vs D-Backs to MASN's Byron Kerr

"I think in times like this when you're playing well you just want to keep going," the first-year skipper said. "We don't think about it too much other than get ready for tomorrow. But the guys have gotten to the point where they understand where we're at, they understand what it's going to take, I think, to get to where we want to go and that simply comes down to continuing to play well. We're going to have to do things right if we're going to win tomorrow and beyond that. It's very business-like with them and they go about it every day with desire and passion and excitement and so it's been good."

After three straight walk-off wins in fairly stressful, tightly-contested games, Williams said the seven-run win was a welcome change.

"Good approach by the guys tonight," Williams told reporters after the 12-hit game in which the Nats were 7 for 15 with runners in scoring position with just one extra base hit.

"They hadn't seen Chase [Anderson] with the exception of Asdrubal [Cabrera], and he's got a good changeup and a good curveball and they used the middle of the diamond tonight, which was a good approach."

The Nationals got a strong start from Stephen Strasburg, and improved to 41-5 in starts of his in which he is provided with 3+ runs of support. They got AZ Snake Pitplenty of offense and solid defense as they won the ninth game of their last ten.

Can they make it nine in a row tonight? Tanner Roark vs Trevor Cahill at 7:05 PM. Until then, it's links and lots of them, starting... RIGHT NOW!!!!:

• THE BIG STORY!!!:

• "Asdrubal Cabrera stood at second base, smacked his hands together and pointed to the sky. All three runners had scored moments before." - "Stephen Strasburg pitches eight innings, Nationals cruise to eighth straight win" - James Wagner, The Washington Post

• NATS BEAT:

• "Why was Strasburg so fun to watch? Because he went right after Arizona’s hitters, wasting few pitches, getting lots of weak contact and letting his defense do the work." - "Strasburg’s 8 innings in Nationals’ win are 'what the doctor ordered'" - Mark Zuckerman, Nats Insider

• "Cabrera now has 15 games under his belt on the senior circuit and senses a little difference from his time in the American League." - "Strasburg, Desmond and Cabrera on 8-1 defeat of D-backs" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

•  "After Tuesday night, Strasburg now leads the National League in strikeouts by double digits. He's 11 ahead of second-place man Johnny Cueto of the Reds..." - "Stephen Strasburg sets personal career-best for single-season K's" - Daniel Popper, nationals.com: News

• "Strasburg finished eight innings, allowing three hits and one solo homer, one walk and four strikeouts. He tossed 95 pitches, 61 for strikes." - "Strasburg goes eight innings for 10th victory (Nats win 8-1)" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

• "Washington has been in a real groove, bringing a season-high eight-game winning streak into the third game of the series." - "Arizona Diamondbacks at Washington Nationals - August 20, 2014" - Adam Lichtenstein, MLB.com Preview

• "So far this season, just a little over three-quarters of the way through the 2014 campaign, the Nats have 26 comeback wins." - "Starting to get a little bit of a 2012 vibe" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "We can’t believe we’re saying this, but it’s true: The Miami Marlins are officially contenders for a postseason berth." - "Around the NL East: Are the Miami Marlins surprise contenders?" - Daniel Sherifaw, Nats Insider

•"McLouth signed a two-year, $10.75 million contract with Washington in the offseason, and the first year didn't go according to plan." - "Nationals Pastime: McLouth to have shoulder surgery, out for season" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "The reputation that he has around the league, what the guys say when they come to second base and what the umpires have to say about him, it’s all great,' Desmond said of Cabrera." - "Cabrera, Desmond gelling as double-play partners" - Daniel Popper, All Nats All the Time

• "Fister has not allowed an earned run in the 22.1 innings, after he went seven innings against the Pittsburgh Pirates Aug. 17 and allowed two unearned runs." - "Doug Fister Has Been An Ace For The Nationals" - David Driver, Pressbox DC

• "Besides hitting in the clutch, Cabrera has a good rapport with his double-play partner, Desmond, and he likes playing in the National League." - "Arizona Diamondbacks at Washington Nationals - August 19, 2014" - Bill Ladson, MLB.com WSH Recap

• "Including Monday’s walk-off homer, shockingly the first of his 11-year career, LaRoche has homered six times in the past 12 games. He had six total homers in the 54 combined games before that." - "Nationals riding power surges by Wilson Ramos, Adam LaRoche" - James Wagner, Washington Post

• "Though he would probably be the first to say he’s not having as good a season as he’d like, Desmond hasn’t exactly been chump change at the plate in 2014." - "Nationals beat Diamondbacks for eighth straight win" - Mark Zuckerman, Nats Insider

• "Harper's decision was particularly curious, because at no point during the play did it appear as though the ball would get past Peralta." - "Williams: Aggressive Harper still learning, maturing" - Daniel Popper, nationals.com: News

• "Williams felt it was important to get the surgery done this week so the veteran will be healthy and ready to go for spring training in 2015." - "Williams on McLouth being done for the year and Harper's baserunning blunder" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

• "The Nationals’ bench has lacked a left-handed hitter who can hit for power. Both Danny Espinosa and Jose Lobaton are switch hitters, but Lobaton is not usually a pinch-hitting option because he is the backup catcher." - "Nate McLouth to undergo season-ending shoulder surgery Thursday" - James Wagner, Washington Post

• "Nationals outfielder Nate McLouth is out for the rest of the season because of a torn labrum in his right shoulder, the team announced Tuesday." - "Nationals outfielder Nate McLouth out for season" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• "On the notion of McLouth playing through the injury all season, Williams understands why he didn’t speak up about it." - "Nats’ McLouth to have shoulder surgery, out for season" - Chase Hughes, Nats Insider

• "The winning streak has now reached eight games, the second-longest stretch in Nationals team history. The Nats are 18 games above .500 and are clicking on all cylinders." - "Nationals Pastime: Williams discusses Nats' eighth straight win" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

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

• NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

• "The home team woke up in their third inning at the plate, however, and put Anderson in a hole he'd never get out of." - "Anderson, Diamondbacks destroyed by Nationals for fourth loss in a row: By The Numbers" - Andrew Gilstrap, ArizonaSports.com

• "Even though the Washington Nationals are leading Major League Baseball's National League East Division, there are some empty seats for home games this season." - "Washington Nationals see attendance dip despite their winning ways" - Bob Niedt, Washington Business Journal

• "Adnan Virk and Jayson Stark discuss the Nationals' hot streak, the NL Central race and more. Plus, Mike DiGiovanna of the LA Times on Josh Hamilton's struggles." - "Baseball Tonight - Nats On Fire" - Buster Olney Podcast, ESPN

• "Rather than turning all of his clothes inside out, Fister placed a Jayson Werth garden gnome in the collar of his fleece sweatshirt so it could watch the game with him..." - "Doug Fister carries Jayson Werth 'rally' gnome around neck for good luck"- David Brown, Big League Stew - Yahoo Sports

• "[Strasburg's] every step in the minors was chronicled until he made his major league debut the following year. Some are still taken aback by the coverage." - "Major League Baseball's increased attention on prospects not always a bad thing" - Nick Piecoro, AZCentral.com

• NATS MINORS:

Low-A Hagerstown: "With the way he's pitching, Reynaldo Lopez could score his first run before he gives up another one." - "Washington Nationals prospect Reynaldo Lopez adds six innings to scoreless string for Hagerstown Suns" - Mark Emery, MiLB.com

Low-A Hagerstown: "RHP Reynaldo Lopez (3-1) spun six scoreless innings on Tuesday night, helping the Hagerstown Suns... blank the Greensboro Grasshoppers..." - "Lopez leads Suns past Grasshoppers in series opener" - Eli Pearlstein, Hagerstown Suns News

High-A Potomac: "The Potomac Nationals clipped the Lynchburg Hillcats... 3-2 on Tuesday evening in Game One of a planned doubeleheader..." - "Potomac Nationals Game Recap at Lynchburg Hillcats" - Potomac Nationals News

Double-A Harrisburg: "Jason Martinson's 4-for-4 day led Harrisburg Senators to a three-run lead early, but the Senators could not hold on as the Portland Sea Dogs came back to win 5-4 on Tuesday night at Metro Bank Park." - "Martinson's Career Day Not Enough" - Perry Mattern, Harrisburg Senators News

• NATSTOWN:

• "The injunction merely forestalls any payments until the matter is decided at trial or in a settlement." - "Baltimore Orioles take round in TV spat with Washington Nationals" - Nathaniel Vinton, NY Daily News

• "With the specter that the first-place Washington Nationals might terminate a broadcaster's rights to its games as soon as Tuesday, Major League Baseball was in a New York courtroom on Monday at a hearing..." - "Judge Blocks MLB from Ordering TV Broadcaster to Pay Washington Nationals" - Eriq Gardner, Hollywood Reporter

• "A New York Supreme Court judge on Monday granted an extension in the injunction preventing Major League Baseball from forcing the Orioles to pay the Nationals higher payments from their joint ownership in the network that televises the teams' games." - "TELEVISION TUESDAY: Orioles, Nationals in T.V. dispute" - Poughkeepsie Journal

• "As the years go by, you just kind of figure that it’s not meant to be. It seems like all my ninth inning or extra inning homers come on the road." - Adam LaRoche"A pregame chat with Adam LaRoche" - Curly W Live

• "Thomas Jefferson pushed the amphibian insurance salesman into the Grounds Crew’s tarp in foul territory." - "Video Presidents attack GEICO Gecko, Jefferson gets stuck" - Presidents Race Fan, Let Teddy Win!

• "There was significantly less spilled Gatorade on Tuesday night, as the Nats ended their streak of three walk-offs in a row." - "Strasburg Shuts Down D-backs in Nats’ 8-1 Rout" - Erin Flynn, The Nats Blog

• NL EAST UPDATES:

Braves: "Gattis' monstrous home run off Brandon Cumpton to begin the ninth inning will be one that Braves players and fans will remember for many years." - "Gattis wows teammates with monster blast" - Mark Bowman, braves.com: News

Mets: "'Right now he’s on schedule to pitch on Saturday,' Terry Collins said. 'He threw today and threw great. We’re hoping he will pitch on Saturday.'" - "Jacob deGrom likely to start against Dodgers on Saturday" - Kristie Ackert, NY Daily News

Marlins: "But with Nathan Eovaldi taking the mound, Miami has a chance to be two games over the break-even mark for the first time since June 17." - "Texas Rangers at Miami Marlins - August 20, 2014" - Marla Torres, MLB.com Preview

Phillies: "Four of the five runners who scored against Burnett reached on walks or hit batters..." - "Phillies' A.J. Burnett's tough second half continues in 5-2 loss to Seattle" - Bill Evansm NJ.com