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Game Thread: New York's "Hated Mets" at Washington Nationals- 2008 Game 22 of 162.

On the Hill -

In 5 starts, and 6 appearances, Washington righty Tim Redding has only one decision against the New York Mets, and it's a win, as Redding's (1-0) with a 4.00 ERA and 26 K's in 27.0 IP against the Mets. Redding, somehow, finds himself (3-1) with a 3.27 ERA on a 6-15 Washington team, and he's on a 2-game winning streak with 11 runs of support that must be making the rest of the rotation wonder what they did to offend the offense...

New York starter Johan Santana arrived in NY with a lot of fanfare this winter, signing a 6-year, $137.5 million dollar deal, to become the ace on a team looking to erase the sting of last season's epic collapse. So far Santana is (2-2) with a 3.25 ERA, which shouldn't worry Mets' fans too much, since Santana is (10-9) with a 4.15 ERA in the month of April over his 9 years in the Majors. (ed. note - "Warning to the NL East: Watch out come June, where those #'s bump up to (19-6) with a 2.63 ERA.")

But it's only April, and Johan Santana is only (1-1) in 2 career starts against the Nationals, giving up 10 hits in 15 innings, 4 ER's and 2 HR's, with 12 K's and a 2.40 ERA against DC. (The WHIP you ask...0.67...BAA .189...)

Washington last faced Santana last June in RFK, with Levale Speigner beating Santana in a game the Nationals took 3-1 from Minnesota, Santana's former employer, who was himself burned by another ex-Minnesotan, Cristian Guzman, who went 3 for 4 with a run scored, and Ryan Zimmerman, who hit a 3-run blast off Santana in the third, that would eventually hold up for the win.

Back at Nationals Park...

The Nationals ended a rough road trip on a high note thanks to the late offensive explosion and the 7.0 shutout inning John Lannan pitched against Atlanta. Willie Harris may have temporarily relegated Wily Mo Pena to the bench with his 2 for 3, double and RBI off Smoltz last night. Think he'll still be in left tomorrow?

The bullpen got another chance to do it's thing last night, and "Half-A" Ray King, Luis "Set-Up" Ayala and the Tallest Closer in MLB History combined for 2.0 scoreless in relief of Lannan, with Rauch adding to K's in a game he would've saved if not for the Nationals' five-run ninth. (ed. note- "The Nationals' five-run ninth. Just wanted to write that again.")

Flat-Brimmed Closer Watch...

(ed. note - "This is not good. I'll let MLB.com's Bill Ladson tell you, so that you'll associate him and not federalbaseball.com with the news...")

MLB.com's Bill Ladson's writes today, in his ominously-titled article, "Cordero to have shoulder examined", that the Flat-Brimmed Closer, Chad Cordero felt what was described by Mr. Ladson as a "clicking" noise in his throwing shoulder. The result...the name you never want to hear associated with your favorite players' medical conditon:

"Nationals closer Chad Cordero will have his right shoulder examined by Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala., on Wednesday afternoon."

Cordero himself, is quoted in Bill Ladson's article stating:

"'We want to make sure nothing is wrong [in the shoulder]...I don't know if it's anything serious. I told our trainers today and I told my agent there was no pain -- nothing like that.'"

Should be more news by tomorrow...Flatten your brims in support...

DY UPDATE -

Washington Times writer Ben Goessling writes in a "Chatter: A Nats Blog" post entitled, "Cordero to see Dr. Andrews", (ed. note - "See didn't I tell you it's bad to see a players name linked with the good Dr."), that Dmitri Young:

"...got a second opininon on his back from the University of Miami's Frank Eismont today, and Eismont did not seen anything that would require surgery. He did see some degenerative changes in the sacroiliac joings in Young's lower back, and feel that Young could be helped by chiropractic care. There is still no timetable for when Young could return to the Nationals' lineup."

So that's sort of good news...Right? The offense could really use DY's bat, and the DC Faithful could REALLY use his enthusiastic approach to the game...Put simply, I miss DY...

A quick two-game visit from the Hated-Mets and then it's three with the Cubbies this weekend...

Check the NatCast if you're heading to Nationals Park...