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NATIONALS WATCH

Amanda Comak covers the Washington Nationals for The Washington Times.

Latest Blog Entries

One year out, Stephen Strasburg is ready to stand on a major league mound again

On the one-year anniversary of the day that Stephen Strasburg had his precious right elbow sliced open and a new ulnar collateral ligament put in place, he stood on the mound in the Nationals' bullpen effortlessly doing the same thing any other starting pitcher does three days before his next start. Then he talked about the past year, and his future which, if he has his druthers, will never include the minor leagues again.

Espinosa returns, Bernadina to right, Werth to center: today's lineups

Nationals left-hander Tom Milone will make his major league debut today, standing on the mound at Nationals Park as the fourth member of the Nationals' 2008 draft to make it to the major leagues. Milone joins Espinosa, Aaron Crow and Louis Coleman -- the latter two both signed with the Kansas City Royals in 2009.

Livan Hernandez starts for the Nationals Sunday, the future after that is cloudy

Nationals manager Davey Johnson confirmed after his team's 7-3 loss to the New York Mets Friday night that Livan Hernandez will indeed start Sunday afternoon against the Mets but it will be his final start for the Nationals for the foreseeable future. With an eye toward 2012, the team will shut Hernandez down and clear the way for other pitchers in their starting rotation over the season's final month.

Danny Espinosa gets a day off -- and that's fine by him, plus other pre-game notes

Danny Espinosa was absent from Nationals manager Davey Johnson's starting lineup Friday night for the first time since Johnson took over in late June. It was only the fourth time all season that Espinosa didn't appear in lineup and, if he were not to appear at all, would be the first game of the season that Espinosa did not participate in. Espinosa has said on several occasions that he'd love to play all 162 games, something only eight rookies in MLB history have ever done.

Espinosa sits, Werth returns to right, Bernadina's back: today's lineups

The Nationals return home top open 10-game homestand that will feature the debut of left-hander Tom Milone, the return of Stephen Strasburg, the debut of Brad Peacock and the return of Ivan Rodriguez. And that's only the stuff we already know for sure will happen. Needless to say, it figures to be an interesting stretch for Washington which will need a strong showing to keep their hope of a .500 or above record alive.

Nix tweaks groin, Bernadina on his way

Laynce Nix left the Nationals' game in the third inning Thursday night after tweaking his groin and it looks like Roger Bernadina is on his way back up to the big leagues as a reinforcement.

Double-A Harrisburg, Single-A Potomac clinch playoff berths

In dramatic fashion, the Nationals Double-A affiliate, the Harrisburg Senators, clinched their 14th postseason berth in the last 24 years and let loose in a celebratory frenzy inside the home clubhouse at Metro Bank Park. The Senators now need to win one of their remaining five games -- and Stephen Strasburg starts for them Thursday night -- in order to clinch the Western Division title. The Eastern League (Double-A) playoffs begin on Wednesday, Sept. 7. Single-A Potomac also clinched a playoff berth.

Call-ups, Morse in left and other pre-game notes

At some point in the next three days, Tom Milone will join the Nationals and their starting rotation. And in the immediate days to follow more and more of his Triple-A teammates will find their way to Nationals Park as well. But don't expect them to all arrive at the stroke of midnight on Sept. 1.