Game one of three in RFK Stadium, Washington, DC features:
Brian Lawrence (1-2, 6.31) vs Tim Redding (3-5, 3.42)
In lieu of a playoff spot this is what I've dreamed about, a possible spoiler role in a three game set with the New York Mets, who are now precariously balanced atop the NL East after dropping three straight to Philadelphia this weekend. The Mets lead over the Phillies has now dwindled to 3.5 games.
Washington welcomes the Hated Mets to DC as the Nationals look for the home sweep against a ragtag core of rookie and aged veteran arms. Brian Lawrence, our friends Basil's favorite, is on the mound for the Mets tonight, with John Maine, (2-4) in his last 8 starts, and Mike Pelfrey, (2-7) on the season after winning his first MLB start on September 1st, scheduled to follow.
Brian Lawrence is (1-2) in 5 starts in 2007. In 25.2 innings pitched, the veteran right hander has allowed 37 hits, 18 runs, 4 home runs and 12 walks with a 6.31 ERA on the year. Lawrence is (0-3) in 4 careers starts against the Nationals franchise, during which he's given up 26 hits and 16 runs in 18.2 innings, while striking out 14 and walking ten with a 7.71 ERA against DC.
Washington acquired Brian Lawrence in 2005, from San Diego in exchange for The Human Vacuum Vinny Castilla, but he never pitched for the Nationals after suffering a torn rotator cuff and labrum before the season even started.
The only history Tim Redding has with the Mets is on the hill as an opposing starter. Redding is (1-0) in four career starts against New York, having surrendered 21 hits in 23 innings, 8 earned runs and 4 walks with 8 K's against the Mets. The last time Redding faced the Mets on July 28th in Queens, the right handed sinker baller allowed only 1 run in 6 innings on 5 hits, while striking out 8 and walking 4.
The season series between Washington and New York stands at (8-4) in the Mets favor with six more in the next two weeks starting tonight. It's up to the Phillies to decide their own fate, but I see no reason the Nationals can't lend a hand to the team from the City of Brotherly Love, while knocking the Mets off their perch, and in turn knocking the chip off their shoulders.
And what better reason to do it than to prove Jimmy Rollins right...
...as Rollins to AP Sports reporter Rob Maadi in early spring 2007...
"I think we are the team to beat in the NL East -- finally, but that's only on paper."