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NATIONALS WATCH

Amanda Comak covers the Washington Nationals for The Washington Times.

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Today's lineups: Nationals try to beat the heat

The Nationals will open a pivotal three-game National League East set tonight in Atlanta where the temperatures are greeting them like an open oven door. It was 106 degrees in Atlanta today and they don't appear to be breaking any time before the series is out.

Today's lineups: Tight hamstring not keeping Morse out

The Nationals lineup wasn't posted until 90 minutes before gametime on Thursday afternoon as Nationals manager Davey Johnson awaited word on Michael Morse, who received treatment for a tight hamstring Wednesday night. Morse assured Johnson early Thursday morning that he felt "great" and was prepared to play.

Bryce Harper working his way out of second mini-slump of his career

In Bryce Harper's 53-game major league career, he's gone through one brief slump. Even calling it a slump might be a little harsh. From May 4 to May 11, a seven-game span about a week after Harper was called up, he hit .148. Then he went on a 29-game tear where he hit .330 with a .405 on-base percentage, clubbed seven homers, four triples and three doubles.

Today's lineups: LaRoche gets scheduled day off

Nationals manager Davey Johnson has a little problem with first baseman Adam LaRoche. Every time he talks to the first baseman about the possibility of giving him some time off to keep him rested and healthy, LaRoche's play makes it extremely difficult for Johnson to do it.

Quotes from the Nationals' record offensive night

Seems like it was just yesterday we were writing about what a downtrodden offensive team these Nationals were. Oh... right. Well after their best offensive game of the Davey Johnson era and a night in which they tied the organization's record for hits in a game (21) and broke the one for extra-base hits in a game (11) there was plenty being said in the Nationals' clubhouse about this game as a potential breakthrough for the team. Here are a few of the quotes and insights after the Nationals' 12-5 victory over the Rockies:

Davey Johnson defends hitting coach Rick Eckstein

One day after lambasting his team's offensive approach and saying it "has just got to improve," Nationals manager Davey Johnson made sure to be clear that, in his opinion, no fingers should be pointed toward hitting coach Rick Eckstein.

Nationals offensive issues lead to another loss, snap Strasburg's streak

Davey Johnson didn’t have an answer. He couldn’t find an explanation for why his team, the best in the National League East had failed to make another below-average pitcher look like one. Couldn’t reason how, against a team that was struggling to get their starters even to the fifth inning, his team allowed one with an 7.23 ERA to throw five crisp ones and allow just two runs.

Nady dealing with wrist issue since spring training

The Washington Nationals subbed out one right-handed bench player for another on Monday when they activated Mark DeRosa from the disabled list and placed Xavier Nady on it. Nady was officially put on with right wrist tendinitis, an issue that he has been dealing with since spring training but hadn't become public until Monday.

Ryan Zimmerman receives cortisone shot, hopes to avoid DL

Ryan Zimmerman received a cortisone injection, coupled with a numbing agent, Sunday morning. Then he went out and had his first two-hit day in over two weeks. He drove in the only run in the Nationals' 2-1 loss and struck his run-scoring single probably better than he had hit any ball in several games. The hope for Zimmerman now is that by receiving an injection every so often throughout the course of the season, the Nationals can avoid both losing him from the lineup for a prolonged period as well as keeping him in there as a shell of himself.