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Open Thread...9/28/07 Nationals vs Phillies Game 1 of 3

Game one of three in Citizens Bank Ballpark, Philadelphia, PA features:

Tim Redding (3-5, 3.53) vs Cole Hamels (14-5, 3.54)

     The Washington Nationals have insinuated themselves into the NL East Division race by way of their three game sweep of the Mets this week and their pending three game season-ending weekend series with Philadelphia, which starts tonight in Citizens Bank Ballpark with a lot on the line...

     ...When things get underway at 7:05 pm EST, the Phillies will start the evening tied for first place after beating Atlanta last night while the Mets dropped their fourth straight in a make-up game with St. Louis at home in New York. San Diego holds a 1.0 game lead over both Philadelphia and New York with three remaining. So the NL East and the NL Wild Card come down to the last three games of the season.

     Philadelphia holds a 10-5 lead over Washington in their season series. The Phillies left-handed starter Cole Hamels is (3-2) against the Nationals in 8 starts in his career. Hamels has allowed 42 hits in 49.0 innings, with Washington connecting for 18 runs on 6 HR's, and striking out 47 times while Hamels has walked 14.

     Last time out against the Nationals, Hamels lasted 5.0 innings in a 5-3 Philly loss last week in DC. Tim Redding lasted 6.2 innings in a 4-1 Nationals loss the day before Hamels' start, allowing 8 hits with only one run on 1 HR and 7 K's.

     In his career, Redding is (2-1) in 5 career starts, pitching 31.2 innings against Philadelphia during which he's surrendered 22 hits and 10 runs on 3 HR's, with 14 walks and 27 K's. Redding hasn't won in five starts, losing two and only lasting past the fifth once, last time out against these same Phillies.

     The Nationals hold fate of the Phillies and Mets in their gloved hands. The Mets face the Marlins at Shea for three with Oliver Perez facing Byung-Hyun Kim, John Maine opposing Chris Sneddon, and Tom Glavine squaring off with Dontrelle Willis. Philadelphia throws Hamels, Adam Eaton and Jamie Moyer against Redding, Matt Chico and Jason Bergmann, who will pitch the season finale on Sunday afternoon.

     Three more left. What will I do from 7-11 every night...

     Beat the Phillies, help the Mets? Is there any way to eliminate them both?...