Game Thread: Washington Nationals at Philadelphia Phillies - 2008 Game 162* of 162.

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* = (ed. note - "Actually Game 161.")

Stephen Strasburg of the San Diego St. Aztecs (via farmsystem)

On The Hill...

Philly lefty Cole Hamels (14-10, 3.09 ERA) was ready to go today if the Phillies needed their ace on the hill, but yesterday's nail-biter of a win over the Nationals clinched the NL East for Philadelphia for the second straight season and gave the Phils the chance to line up their rotation, holding Hamels back so that he can pitch when the '08 Playoffs start on what will be an extended rest. Kyle Kendrick (11-9, 5.46 ERA) gets the nod instead, facing off against DC lefty Odalis Perez, (7-11, 4.27 ERA) who makes his 30th start this season for the Nationals. 

Kendrick has faced DC 5 times in two seasons since his debut on June 13, 2007, posting a (1-2) record and a 4.82 ERA in 28.0 innings pitched in which he's allowed 33 hits, 16 runs, (15 earned), 2 HR's and 8 walks while striking out 14, with a 1.46 WHIP and .295 BAA the Nationals, but the 23-year-old right-hander has been pitching out of the bullpen since last time he matched up against DC and gave up 8 hits and 6 runs in 4.0 innings of a 7-4 Phillies' loss... 

Odalis Perez has pitched against the Phillies once already earlier in '08, back on September 3rd, receiving no decision in a 9-7 Nationals' win in which he, himself, was responsible for 4 hits, 3 runs, 1 HR and 5 K's in 5.0 innings. Over 10 MLB seasons, the 31-year old Perez has seen the Phillies 15 times, 10 times as a starter, and he's (6-3) with a 2.90 ERA in 68.1 IP against the PA-based franchise. 

In his last 10 starts, "Opening Night" Odalis Perez is (4-3) with DC 5-5 over the same stretch. Perez started the first game of the '08 season, on Sunday March 30th against the Atlanta Braves, and Perez will pitch in the final game of '08, September 27, 2008, live from Philadelphia, where the Phillies, 2008's NL East Champs are looking to celebrate their title with a win in the final regular season game on the schedule for either team. 

Nationals' #'s Against Kyle Kendrick...

Emilio Bonifacio - 2 for 3, .667 AVG, 1 2B, 2 RBI's. 

Kory Casto - 1 for 3, .333 AVG, 1 2B. 

Cristian Guzman - 1 for 3, 333 AVG, 1 2B, 1 RBI. 

Lastings Milledge - 2 for 7, .286 AVG, 2 RBI's. 

Ryan Zimmerman - 6 for 11, .545 AVG, 3 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI's. 

Odalis Perez vs The Phillies...

Pat Burrell - 4 for 23, .174 AVG, 1 HR, 3 RBI's. 

Pedro Feliz - 4 for 29, .138 AVG, 1 2B, 2 RBI's. 

Ryan Howard - 2 for 9, .222 AVG, 1 HR, 2 RBI's. 

Geoff Jenkins - 4 for 7, .571 AVG, 1 2B, 1 HR, 1 RBI. 

Jimmy Rollins - 8 for 30, .267 AVG, 2 SB.

Chase Utley - 3 for 9, .333 AVG, 2 3B, 1 RBI. 

STRASBURG WATCH...

A's - Josh Outman (1-1, 4.58 ERA) vs Mariners - R.A. Dickey (4-8, 5.23 ERA)...(Game time 4:10 pm EST)

Stephen Strasburg's 23 K Game...

 

Stephen Strasburg 23 strikeout game (via goaztecscom)

If Seattle wins, and Washington loses, Strasburg(or at least the #1 pick) belongs to DC. Either way the '09 Draft order is decided today...

New DC Coaching Staff In '09?

According to MLB.com's Bill Ladson's article entitled, "Nationals to alter coaching staff", the Washington Nationals are going to make some changes to what a recent Washington Post article quotes an "unnamed team official" calling, "the worst staff in baseball", before the '09 season begins. 

Washington Post writer Chico Harlan also touched on the subject the other day in a "Nationals Journal" post entitled, "Change, In several forms", where Mr. Harlan quotes Nationals' Manager Manny Acta stating, "Changes are going to be made," and in the last line of the first paragraph of the Post post, Mr. Harlan writes, "One team official called the staff the worst in baseball," a quote which seems to have angered Acta, who is quoted in Mr. Ladson's article responding to the quote by an anonymous "team official" by stating:

"'Losing brings out bad characters,' Acta said. 'It's very easy for some of you [members of the media] to hide behind guys named sources, think tank, an opposing scout, a National League top executive and an official. I don't believe most of those comments, because any one of you guys can hide behind any of those guys. It's an old trick.'"

Ouch. Mr. Harlan? But it begs the question? Which members of the coaching staff will be back when Spring Training starts in March? Sounds LIKE A NEW POLL!!!!

For A (Hung-Over) Philly Fan's Perspective, Check out the SBN's Phillies' blog:

The Good Phight

Alright, how's about one more look at Strasburg...


Stephen Strasburg of the San Diego St. Aztecs (via farmsystem)

Game time 1:35 pm EST in Philly...as of now (12 noon Sunday) it's pouring rain all over the East Coast, but no one wants to play on Monday so you can bet they'll all do their best to get in the final game of the 2008 season? It's been rough at times, it's been disappointing, but I'm still watching? Who else is? Who's Watching The Nationals? Who's Keeping An Eye On The Scoreboard To See What Seattle's Doing? Who's Watching The Nationals? WHO'S WATCHING THE NATIONALS?

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