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Open Thread...9/10 Nationals vs Marlins Game 1 of 3

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Today's first of three in Dolphin Stadium, Miami, FL features:

Shawn Hill (3-3, 2.98) vs Scott Olsen (9-12, 5.76)

     After salvaging one of three by winning the Sunday matinee in Atlanta, the Washington Nationals head further south to Florida to take on the Marlins tonight in the first of a three game series to start the week.

     The Nationals swept both of the three game series with Florida in RFK Stadium this season, but they've lost two of three both times they've visited Miami. Washington's right-handed starter Shawn Hill has faced the Marlins twice this season, two no-decisions, in which he's allowed 15 hits, 5 runs, 1 HR, and 2 walks, while striking out 12.

     Marlins lefty Scott Olsen has made more headlines off the field than on this season, and his (1-5) record with two no-decisions in his last seven starts is probably a sign of those struggles.

     Olsen is, however, (3-2) in 7 career starts against the Nationals. The twenty-three year old, third-year lefty has allowed 43 hits, 17 ER's, 3 HR's and 27 walks, while striking out 28 in 38.1 innings against the DC franchise. Last time out against the Nationals, Olsen only had to go five innings to earn a win at home on July 15th, but he's given up 16 hits and 7 runs in his 2 starts in Dolphin Stadium against Washington this season.

     Ronnie Belliard is 5 for 10 in his career against Olsen, with 1 HR, 3 RBI's and 3 walks. Felipe Lopez is 5 for 12. Ryan Church is 3 for 9 with 2 doubles. The Marlins Mike Jacobs is 3 for 9 against Washington's starter, and so is Josh Willigham, though no one on Florida has really seen much of Hill.

     The Nationals have already won the season series with the Marlins (8-4, with 3 left), but with the three games left between the two, Florida might be able to catch Washington in the NL East standings with a series sweep.

Are the Marlins the Nationals biggest rival ? Does anyone watch Nationals baseball ?...