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Wire Taps: Nationals done with Braves in 2014, on to Marlins

The Washington Nationals played their last regular season game with the Atlanta Braves last night, dropping the series finale in Turner Field. Tonight they're in Miami to start a four-game set with the Marlins at 7:10. Until then, how's about some links...

Rob Foldy

The Atlanta Braves took seven of the first eight games with the Washington Nationals this season. The NL East division winners took two straight from the Braves to earn a split of the four-game set between division rivals in late June, however, and after dropping two of three in early August, the Nats won four of the last six games with the Braves to finish 8-11 against their divisional rivals in 2014.

"It doesn't help when you don't have your full team," Nationals' manager Matt Williams said of the early-season struggles against the Braves after dropping the last game on the schedule against them last night.

"They've got the ability to beat you at any time. They have a really powerful lineup and one swing of the bat can change the landscape quickly." -Matt Williams on Atlanta after last game of 2014 with the Braves

"But nonetheless, you still have to play and you still have to make pitches and you still have to make plays and get hits and all of those things. Early on anyway they were really playing well. Justin [Upton] had a good month. Freddie [Freeman] is always difficult. Jason [Heyward] is always difficult. So that's a question of us making some quality pitches too, recently and having our full team back, that helps too. But they've got the ability to beat you at any time. They have a really powerful lineup and one swing of the bat can change the landscape quickly."

One inning changed things last night as the Braves rallied with a three-run sixth to take the final regular season game with the Nationals, who fielded a team of bench players and September call-ups in Turner Field.

The Marlins will likely see a much different lineup tonight in the series opener in Marlins Park, which takes place at 7:10 PM EDT in Miami. Until then, links and lots of them, starting... RIGHT NOW!!!:


• "But after 81 years without a World Series visit and 90 years since its only victory in a postseason series of any kind, D.C. deserves a day, just one, to take a clear 360-degree look around itself and simply smile." - "This year’s MLB playoff teams have 99 problems; Washington Nationals barely have one" - Thomas Boswell, The Washington Post


• "Monday, the Washington Nationals’ rookie center fielder met Hank Aaron. Tuesday, the Nationals clinched the National League East division title." - "Day off for regulars give Washington Nationals youngsters Souza, Taylor a chance for a night" - Todd Dybas, Washington Times

• "While players began spraying the beer and champagne and celebrating, few may have noticed that Williams quoted a line from Robert Frost’s 'Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening' poem." - "Why Matt Williams quoted Robert Frost in toast before Nationals’ celebration" - James Wagner, Washington Post

• "Though the lineup they fielded Wednesday night wouldn’t suggest it, the Nationals say they will play most of their regulars over the final week and a half of the regular season..." - "Nats will play out season, try for home-field advantage" - Mark Zuckerman, Nats Insider

• "The image of the Nationals' five starting pitchers and their two catchers posing for a group picture, all with huge smiles plastered on their faces, is something that I was happy our cameras got to pick up." - "Nationals Pastime: A day later, a few things that stand out in my mind" - Dan Kolko,

• "Here are five reasons they could go all the way and win the first World Series title in franchise history." - "Five reasons Nationals will win World Series" - Bill Ladson,

• "The Nationals arrived in spring training with less bravado than in 2013 but more confidence, facing less external expectation but carrying more internal assuredness." - "The Nationals are ready to keep going after division title" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

• "Treinen has made the most of every opportunity the Nationals have given him this season, and if nothing else, he has made quite an impression on the organization." - "Nationals backups, rookies get a chance to perform for one night" - Mark Zuckerman, Nats Insider

• "The Nats clinched the division with 11 games left to play in the regular season, but Williams knows baseball players are creatures of habit and is aware of the importance of keeping a routine." - "Nationals Pastime: Williams on resting players and Zimmerman's progress" - Courtney Lofgren,

• "The idea of a first-year manager being handed the reins of a top-shelf team was once unthinkable..." - "Williams' influence on playoff-bound Nationals clear" - Mike Bauman,

• "For one night, the Nationals’ hopes of earning the best record in the NL ceded to rest and created an unusual pairing." - "Nationals fall to Braves, 3-1, one day after clinching NL East title" - James Wagner, The Washington Post

• "Treinen has done everything the Nationals have asked him to do. He has been successful as a starter and reliever, going 2-3 with a 1.94 ERA in 14 games." - "Washington Nationals at Atlanta Braves - September 17, 2014" - Bill Ladson, WSH Recap

• "Although Williams hopes to play the regulars on Thursday, he plans to keep a careful eye on players with old injuries — such as Adam LaRoche (back) and Jayson Werth (right shoulder) ..." - "Matt Williams’s plan for playing time over the final 12 games" - James Wagner, Washington Post

• "Treinen was fantastic in tossing five scoreless innings to continue the Nationals’ recent pitching dominance over the Braves." - "Instant analysis: Braves 3, Nats 1" - Mark Zuckerman, Nats Insider

• "Ryan Zimmerman played five innings in a simulated game without any problems on Wednesday." - "Zimmerman passes baserunning test; left field next" - Bill Ladson,

• "Here's clubhouse reaction from manager Matt Williams, Treinen and Souza." - "Nationals Pastime: Hearing from Williams, Treinen and Souza after Nats' 3-1 loss" - Courtney Lofgren,

• "'It’s difficult because there are a lot of talented guys here,' Williams said. 'And there are questions. Zim’s one of them.'" - "As Nationals get ready for NL playoffs, Ryan Zimmerman’s return brings roster questions" - Adam Kilgore, The Washington Post

• "Gio Gonzalez will open the series for Washington. He has only won two games since July 5 against the Cubs..." - "Washington Nationals at Miami Marlins - September 18, 2014" - Maria Torres, Preview

• Your Daily Message from the Dalai Lama on Twitter:


• "Second-year infielder Anthony Rendon has developed into a star. He entered the day ranked sixth among NL position players in wins above replacement." - "Top stats to know: 2014 Nationals - Stats & Info Blog" - Mark Simon, ESPN

• "Harper is hated in Atlanta (even though he left the dirt logo alone last night), and Craig Calcaterra blames the Braves and their broadcasters for encouraging that hate." - "Umpire Ejects Braves Fan For Profanely Heckling Bryce Harper" - Barry Petchesky, DeadSpin

• "Within the span of a few minutes on Tuesday night, the Washington Nationals and Baltimore Orioles clinched their respective divisions." - "No self-respecting sports fan should root for two teams" - Chris Chase, For The Win

• "The Nationals are a team without a glaring flaw, which is kind of what you want in a Best Team in Baseball candidate." - "The best team in baseball" - Dave Cameron, FOX Sports

• "Let's discuss these successful 'Beltway' teams from a fantasy perspective, because from that sense there are actually few similarities." - "Fantasy value of Orioles, Nationals players" - Eric Karabell, Fantasy Baseball - ESPN

• "In making the move from second base back to third base, where he played in college at Rice, Rendon has made significant statistical improvements defensively." - "Don't bunt on Anthony Rendon" - Mark Simon, SweetSpot Blog - ESPN

• "The 2014 Nationals will enter the playoffs with a familiar face at the back of the bullpen." - "The Return of Drew Storen" - Chris Cwik, FanGraphs Fantasy Baseball

• "History has been made in the DMV following divisional clinches by both the Baltimore Orioles in the AL East and Washington Nationals in the NL East Tuesday night." - "In DC Beltway, Nationals Playoff Tickets Have Much Higher Premium Than Orioles" - Jesse Lawrence,

• "PLAY-OFFS! PLAY-OFFS! OK, here's what you've been waiting for: Tickets to the National League Division Playoffs." - "NL East champions: The ticket situation, dates for the playoffs" - Bob Niedt, Washington Business Journal


• "With Jair Lynch in charge, Half Street will undergo a wholesale update." - "Under Jair Lynch and MacFarlane, Half Street to be replanned" - Michael Nelbauer, Washington Business Journal

• "Tuesday night at the office, Dan Kolko had dozens of beers poured on his head." - "MASN’s Dan Kolko describes being inside the Nats beer-soaked celebration" - Dan Steinberg, The Washington Post

• "The partners seeking to build a sports complex and bring minor league baseball’s Hagerstown Suns to Fredericksburg have reduced by $4 million the amount of financial backing they are now requesting from the city." - "Baseball partners try to sweeten deal with city" - Pamela Gould, The News Desk

• "The Major League Baseball teams have offered to sign 30-year leases for a proposed $140 million, 6,500-seat stadium to be located south of 45th Street between Military Trail and Haverhill Road." - "Palm Beach County to vote on $90M for spring training ballpark - Brian Bandell, South Florida Business Journal

• "The Nationals Review Episode 37" - The Nationals Review

• "Nats’ post-season roster: The starting rotation" - Nat Anacostia, Nats Noodles

• "Washington Nationals' Bryce Harper proudly wore a D.C. fire helmet during the locker room celebration." - "Nationals' Bryce Harper Dons D.C. Helmet During Celebration" -

• "Still dreaming..." - Harper, Nationals Baseball

• "Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) congratulated the Washington Nationals for winning the East Division to make it to the World Series playoffs." - "Reid’s World Series prediction: Orioles vs. Nationals" - Ramsey Cox, TheHill

• "They may not agree on much, but Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell can come together for one thing: Cheering on the Washington Nationals in the MLB post-season." - "Harry Reid, Mitch McConnell agree! On the Nats" - Lucy McCalmont,


Phillies: "A huge turnout of scouts from nearly every team in baseball is expected in the Dominican Republic on Sunday for the unveiling of the latest Cuban defector, slugging outfielder Yasmani Tomas." - You can bet the Phillies will be at the workout." - "Phillies have interest in Cuban slugger Yasmani Tomas" - Jim Salisburg, Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia

Mets: "Juan Lagares’ season hasn’t been pronounced over, but time could expire on 2014 before his ailing elbow improves." - "Elbow injury may force Mets’ Lagares to miss rest of season" - Mike Puma, New York Post

Braves: "I’m on record as saying I believe Fredi Gonzalez to be a good manager. He passes the test every successful manager must pass: His men play hard." - "Who’s at fault for this September’s Braves flop?" - Mark Bradley, Mark Bradley blog/AJC

• "When Gattis was diagnosed with strep throat last week, the Braves were hoping that he would miss just three games. But the resulting dehydration that he battled might have led to this stone..." - "Braves catcher Gattis diagnosed with kidney stone" - Mark Bowman,

Marlins: "The Marlins before Wednesday's series final confirmed what just about everyone assumed as soon Mike Fiers pitch last week hit Giancarlo Stanton in the face." - "Miami Marlins' slugger Giancarlo Stanton to sit out remainder of season" - Juan C. Rodriguez, Sun Sentinel