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Game Thread: Washington at New York- 2008 Game 16 of 162.

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The Flat-Brimmed Closer - SHUT DOWN!!!

Depending upon which of the daily rags you read this morning, Chad Cordero, the Washington Nationals' Flat-Brimmed Closer's fastball was clocked at between 75-79 mph last night, a development so startling that it prompted a visit to the mound by both Washington Pitching Coach Randy St. Claire and the team's Manager Manny Acta during the relievers' warm-ups.

Cordero said he was fine, just not loose, and stayed in the game, giving up only a two-out single to Luis Castillo, but the alarm his appearance on the hill caused carried over to this morning, with MLB.com's Bill Ladson reporting, in his article entitled, "Rauch to spell Cordero for time being", that Manager Manny Acta has:

"...announced that Cordero would no longer be the closer until his velocity (comes) back. Right-hander Jon Rauch will serve as the closer until further notice."

Mr. Ladson writes that while watching Cordero's performance on the mound Wednesday night:

"...the Nationals were alarmed to see that Cordero's fastball was clocked in the low-to-high 70s and that he still looked like he was hurting. When he is at his best, Cordero's fastball is in the high 80s and low 90s."

(...more on the Nationals being caught in the New York Media Matrix to follow tonight.)

The Newark Star-Ledger sports writer Jeremy Cothran was back at it again in today's column entitled, "Mets' power boosts Maine", in which Mr. Cothran writes in the second paragraph of his piece on Wednesday night's game:

"...the Mets know they're too talented not to cherry-pick wins, especially against cellar-dwellars like the Washington Nationals."

To think...If the Mets had just "cherry-picked" one game of last September's three game series with Washington at Shea, New York might have actually made the playoffs, instead of joining "cellar dwelling" Washington with the Fall off...Does it matter how many games you win in April when you're destined to blow it at the end? It's New York's density...I mean destiny, to blow it.

...and lest I leave the impression that I'm picking solely upon the local Newark Star-Ledger, and their baseball writers, I present NJ.com, and their writer Matthew Artus over at "Always Amazin'" a NY Mets blog, which posted an article yesterday entitled, "Nationals challenge Mets' key weaknesses", about federalbaseball.com's list of the, "Top 5 Reasons YOU Can STILL Hate the METS!!":

Over at Federal Baseball, e chigliak reminds readers of the reasons Nationals fans hate Mets fans, which include Gary Carter, Mets fans, and the Home Run Apple. Reason #1 to reciprocate the hate? Because they're in D.C. and not Triple-A. #2? Because Montreal deserved better. #3? For signing a stupid contract with Baltimore Orioles owner Peter Angelos that gives the O's all of the Nats' TV revenue. I could go on...

Nice list, Mr. Artus. (ed. note - "That's actually pretty funny, and the Triple-A comment hurt.") Federalbaseball.com readers? Let them all know what you think. Defend your Nationals...the game's coming on and I'm running late with this, so see you if you comment...