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Open Thread...9/14- 9/16/07 Weekend Edition Braves vs Nationals...

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     ...Maybe Washington GM Jim Bowden was right? Wily Mo Pena was a fourth outfield option in Boston early this season, and Bowden kept trying to pry the humongous left fielder from Beantown. Acquired on August 17th, Pena has rarely been tested in the outfield, but he's come alive at the plate...

     ...in 23 games in DC, Pena's batting .277 in 83 at bats, 23 hits, 2 doubles, 8 HR's, 16 RBI, 5 walks, 24 K's, and a .326 OBP... In the last series with the Marlins, Pena stroked 7 hits in 15 at bats with 3 HR's, 6 RBI's, 1 double, and 1 stolen base in 3 games. Wily Mo raised his batting average from .223 to .238 after the series...(238? ...and that's after hitting .277 for a month)...

     ...Austin Kearns has also benefited from the Wily Mo Bump...with Pena batting behind him, Kearns seems to be getting better pitches...batting .206 in August with 33 hits in 108 at bats, 8 doubles, 5 HR's and 14 RBI's...And Kearns is batting .300, going 12 for 40 in September with 3 doubles, 1 HR, and 4 RBI's...

     ...Ryan "the Double Machine" Church is making the most of the at bats he's been getting, which are few and far between since Wily Mo Pena arrived, with Pena in left, Nook Logan in center and AK in right, Church has been relegated to a fourth outfielder, but "the Double Machine" has managed 8 hits in his last 19 at bats, which have been stretched out over ten games in which he's hit 2 doubles and 2 HR's with 8 RBI's...

     *...I'm heading down to DC this weekend, my brother Scout's along for the ride as we take in our respective teams, the Nationals and the Braves, in the last series between the two in RFK Stadium...*

     ...The two of us traveled to Montreal for the last series between our favorite teams in the Stade Olympique, and made our way down to DC for the first home games in the history of the new Nationals two years ago already...

     ...Game One, Friday night, I'll be sitting in Section 217, behind home plate and two the left...Matt Chico on the mound for the Nationals against the Braves Chuck James...Chico's (2-2) in 4 games against Atlanta, James (3-2) in 7 games against DC...

     ...Saturday, I'm sitting in Section 202 down the right field line...Jason Bergmann faces Lance Cormier on the hill, Bergmann beat the Braves last week in Atlanta, going 6.0 innings and allowing 4 hits, and 3 runs in a 7-4 Washington win...Cormier was the losing pitcher in that game giving up 4 runs on 7 hits in 6.0 innings during which he struck out five...

     ...Sunday's Matinee will be taken in from the corner in left, down low in Section 205...Shawn Hill takes on Tim Hudson in the best matchup of the series...Hill's only faced Atlanta once in his career, a loss in which he gave up 7 hits and 3 earned runs in 6.0 innings...

     ...Tim Hudson's (4-1) in 7 starts against the Nationals, giving up 38 hits in 48.2 innings, but only 7 earned runs for a 1.29 ERA with 40 K's against the Washington...though Hudson's lost three of four starts with one no-decision after having a 5 game win streaked snapped in Cincy's little park...

     ...I'll try to blog from the road, but I never trust hotels for good access...if not, they'll be a lot to say on Monday...The Nationals never give Manny Acta less than 100%, but it always seems to kick up against Atlanta...3 games, sightseeing, talking baseball with my brother Scout...Let's Go Nationals...