Empty Dolphin-Blue and Orange Seats...
The Washington Nationals play tonight, tomorrow and Sunday in Dolphin Stadium, Stadium Gardens, Florida in the upcoming weekend series with their NL East rivals, the Florida Marlins. Washington throws Tim Redding (2-1, 2.25 ERA) in the first of three, and the Marlins counter with their towering left-hander Andrew Miller (0-2, 11.37 ERA).
The Nationals got off to a good start, winning the first three games of the '08 season, but have since gone on losing streaks of nine and three-straight games interrupted only by one lonely win as they've lost twelve of their first sixteen this season.
That Tim Redding (2-1) somehow has a winning record, is a testament to his success on the mound thus far this year, as the 30-year old right-hander has allowed just 4 earned runs in 16.1 IP. Last time out against the Marlins, in an error-filled affair in DC, Redding was on the hill as 7 runs scored, but as a result of the errors only 1 run was his, as Washington lost that game 10-7 to Florida. In his career, Redding's 3-1 in 6 starts, with a 2.03 ERA against the Marlins.
Florida starter Andrew Miller matched up with Redding last time out too, and lasted just 3.1 inning in his first career start against the Nationals, allowing 8 hits, 6 runs and a walk to Washington. Miller's allowed at least 5 runs in each of his three '08 starts, which is just the kind of stat the Nationals must like to hear as they've struggled to score runs early on. In Miller's previous outing in DC, Lastings Milledge was 2 for 4 with 3 RBI's, Cristian Guzman was 3 for 4, also with 3 RBI's, (ed. note: "Please pronounce that one Ribbies, go ahead, go back and read it again this time saying 'Ribbies'...")...and Nick Johnson was 1 for 4 with a two-RBI double.
Hey Redding! Watch out for...
Hanley Ramirez - 53 for 154, .344 AVG, 13 2B, 4 3B, 8 HR, 18 RBI's against DC. (2 for 4, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI's off Redding.)
Josh Willingham - 54 for 159, .340 AVG, 12 2B, 1 3B, 8 HR's, 25 RBI's against DC.
Flat-Brimmed Closer Watch...
Chad Cordero, the Nationals' Flat-Brimmed Closer, told MLB.com's Bill Ladson, as quoted in an article entitled, "Cordero confident velocity will return" that:
"'Location isn't a big worry for me at all,' Cordero said. 'It's the velocity. ... It's a matter of building arm strength.'"
That might qualify as "Understatement of the Young Season", as Cordero's mid-70's radar readings in Wednesday night's appearance in NY caused alarm in spite of the results Cordero achieved in his innings' work.
Quoted yesterday in Washington Post baseball writer Barry Svrluga's "Nationals Journal" blog post entitled, "The Chief: Uh-Oh", at washingtonpost.com, Cordero was still adamant yesterday that it was not an injury that caused his decreased velocity on Wednesday, telling Mr. Svrluga, that he'd met with team officials after the game because:
"They wanted to make sure the arm was fine. Whenever you see someone throwing 79, that kind a of a concern for everybody. But I told them exactly what it was. I didn't have enough time to get ready. They just said to keep doing all my excercises. Hopefully going down to Florida [for the next series] will help me out."
Let's hope so...things get underway at just after 7:00 PM EST, the Nationals look to break the three game losing streak against the Marlins...
Which is your least-favorite NL East park to watch Washington visit?
This poll is closed
Dolphin Stadium (Home of The Empty Dolphin-Blue And Orange Seats)
Shea Stadium (The Future Parking Lot)
Citizen's Bank Ballpark (The Cheesesteak Bandbox)
Turner Field (The House That Ted Built.)