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Game Thread: Washington at New York- 2008 Game 14 of 162.

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ON THE HILL -

The first of three between the visiting Washington Nationals and the New York Mets in Shea Stadium, Flushing, Queens, NY, starts tonight with "Opening Night" Odalis Perez (0-2, 4.91 ERA) on the mound for the Nationals and Mike "Mouthpiece" Pelfrey (1-0, 3.60 ERA) on the mound for the Metsies. Pelfrey's started 4 games against DC in his nascent Major League career, and he's (1-1) with a 5.64 ERA in 22.1 IP against the franchise. Odalis Perez has faced New York 16 times in his career, 9 times in a starting role, and he's accumulated a (4-5) record with a 4.02 ERA against the Mets.

Nationals' #'s against Mike Pelfrey:

Paul Lo Duca hasn't faced Pelfey, but he did catch him...

Felipe Lopez - 2 for 5, .400 with a walk.

Ryan Zimmerman - 4 for 11, .364 AVG, 1 RBI.

Austin Kearns - 5 for 11, .455 AVG, 1 HR, 4 RBI's.

Mets' #'s against Odalis Perez:

Luis Castillo - 9 for 22, .409 AVG, 1 3B, 1 HR, 2 RBI.

Carlos Delgado - 0 for 5.

Carlos Beltran - 3 for 6, .500 AVG, 2 RBI's.

THE KIDS CALL HIM ZIM!!! -

Ryan Zimmerman went 3 for 6 in the last two of the three games with Atlanta this weekend, after going 0 for his previous 16 at bats on the homestand. In his career Zimmerman's hit for a lower AVG on the road than at home (.254-.304), and he's a .274 hitter against NY, with 15 doubles, 1 HR and 16 RBI's in 39 games against the Mets, 7 of those doubles, the 1 HR, and 8 of the RBI's coming at Shea.

#42 -

MLB.com's Bill Ladson reports that Ryan Zimmerman is ready for the series with the Mets, quoting Zimmerman in an article entitled, "Perez gets the call as Nats battle Mets", in which he states:

"'These games are big,' third baseman Ryan Zimmerman said. 'If you can get them early in the year and play a good series or two against them, it will [create] some confidence for us.'"

Mr. Ladson also notes that the Nationals will all, (as opposed to just DY doing it last year), be wearing the #42 on their jerseys tomorrow night to honor the contributions to baseball and America at large made by the #42 Jackie Robinson. DC reliever Ray King truly recognizes the significance of the tribute, telling Mr. Ladson:

"'To put on that uniform that day is not just a number; it's a national symbol of baseball. Without Jackie, not only would I not be here, but I think a lot of players in this game wouldn't be here.'"

7:10 PM start. The first meeting of the season between the Washington Nationals and the New York Mets, and the beginning of the Nationals' last season in Shea, with gorgeous Citi Field almost completely erected just outside of old Shea's left field bleachers.