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GameThread: Atlanta Braves at Washington Nationals- 2008 Game 28 of 162.

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On the Hill...

Shawn Hill's had one start against Atlanta in each of the last two seasons, and tonight Hill faces the Braves for the third time in his career, having gone (0-2) with a 4.91 ERA in 11.0 IP, with 2 hits, 6 ER, 2 HR's and 6 walks allowed. Atlanta turns to Jair "JJ" Jurrjens who has yet to face Washington 13 games into to his own career, and has made just 5 starts on the road in the Majors, going (2-3) with a 4.02 ERA in 31.1 innings pitched.

Hill, 27, has started just two games this season, and has yet to record a decision, giving up 14 hits and 6 ER's in 10.0 innings on the mound. Jurrjens, 22, is (3-2) in 5 starts in '08, with a 3.45 ERA in 31.1 IP, and Jurrjens comes into DC on a personal two-start winning streak, having beaten Los Angeles in NY in his two previous outings.

Jurrjens was one of two prospects acquired by Atlanta from Detroit in the October 2007 trade that sent shortstop Edgar Renteria to the Tigers, and at the time of the deal, Atlanta GM Frank Wren described Jurrjens, in an articled by Mark Bowman entitled, "Braves get two prospects for Renteria", as, "...a control pitcher that does have power stuff," and Braves' Manager Bobby Cox had high praise for Jurrjens in another article by Mr. Bowman entitled, "Jurrjens' maturity shows in Braves' win" after the righty's last start against New York, in which Mr. Cox is quoted stating:

"'He's so mature, it's unreal...,' Cox said of Jurrjens, '...He understands baseball, the game, and how it should be played. He was a great pickup.'"

Random #'s and ?'s...

Ryan Zimmerman was 3 for 4 with 2 runs scored and 3 RBI's last night on a home run and an RBI double. Before last night, Zimmerman had collected just 3 RBI's in his last 11 games. Zimmerman's HR was his first since April 2nd, and it's the first time he's had 3 hits in a game since last September 11 in a game against Florida...

Zimmerman's totals from April '07 - 26 of 110, .236 AVG, 5 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 8 RBI's, 7 walks, and 16 K's in 26 games.

Zimmerman's totals with one game left in April of '08 - .241 AVG, 6 2B, 3 HR, 13 RBI's, 6 walks, 22 K's in 26 games.

A slightly pulled home run...an opposite field RBI double? Is this just more of Zimmerman's dominance of Tom Glavine, or is it a sign of things to come as the Nationals' third baseman enters the month of May and tries to forget April ever existed?

(ed. note - "MLB.com's Bill Ladson wrote an article yesterday entitled, "Zimmerman an All-Star hopeful for Nats." Is Mr. Ladson serious? Can Zimmerman possibly be considered for an All-Star spot the way he's been hitting thus far? Is there anyone else on the Nationals who is deserving right now?)

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

For some reason the game today starts at 4:35 PM EST...