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NATIONALS WATCH

Amanda Comak covers the Washington Nationals for The Washington Times.

Latest Blog Entries

Notes and quotes from the Nationals 9-3 'Bombs away' victory

The Nationals delivered the "laugher" their manager had been waiting for since he took the job five weeks ago. In beating the Braves 9-3 Tuesday night, they extended a winning streak to four games, saw John Lannan bounce back from a rough start and watched their offense explode the way they've been promising it would all season.

Going with Gomes over Nix

When the Nationals lineup came out Tuesday afternoon, the first thing that stuck out to me was that right-hander Jonny Gomes was getting the start in left field over the left-handed Laynce Nix, despite the fact that the Nationals were facing a right-hander in Derek Lowe.

Strasburg's sim game and Pudge getting close to a rehab assignment

Stephen Strasburg threw 51 pitches in a three-inning simulated game Tuesday morning in Florida and while there were no reports good or bad that made their way to Davey Johnson's desk before Tuesday night's game against the Atlanta Braves, all signs point to Strasburg's next day of work coming in a minor league rehab game

Ankiel back at leadoff, no Nix vs. righty Lowe: today's lineups

After giving the Nationals two home runs Monday night, Rick Ankiel found himself back in the leadoff spot in the starting lineup for a second straight day -- and just seventh of his career. He'll man center while, despite facing right-hander Derek Lowe, Jonny Gomes will get the start in left.

As Johnson seeks comfort with bullpen, Mattheus plays integral role

It's no secret that Nationals manager Davey Johnson isn't completely comfortable with the construction of his bullpen. Johnson makes mention of that often. He'd like another long man, he'd like to not have to rely on Tyler Clippard and Drew Storen every single time there's a semi-close game, the list goes on. He'll cross one of those off the wish list this afternoon when Collin Balester officially joins the team to serve as a right-handed long man out of the bullpen and he's getting close to crossing another off the list with the continued emergence of Ryan Mattheus as one of the most reliable relievers in the Nationals bullpen.

Nationals option Severino, prepare to recall Balester

The Nationals made the first half of a move to shore up their long relief in the bullpen Monday night when they optioned Atahualpa Severino back to Triple-A Syracuse. No official announcement was made but they are expected to recall Collin Balester before Tuesday's game against the Atlanta Braves to pitch out of the bullpen as a long reliever, a right-hander to complement left-handed long man Tom Gorzelanny.

Stairs released, Nats bring Harper into fold

The Nationals made two minor moves this afternoon, the first officially cutting ties with pinch hitter Matt Stairs, who'd been designated for assignment on Wednesday to clear space for Jonny Gomes and the second bringing Bryce Harper's brother Bryan into the organization.