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Game Thread: Washington Nationals at Pittsburgh Pirates- 2008 Game 66 of 162.

On The Hill...

Things at home weren't working out well, so the Washington Nationals are taking their show on the road. After dropping six of seven to the Cards and Giants in Nationals Park, the Nationals are in Pittsburgh tonight to face the Pirates in the first of three at PNC. After two straight Nationals' debuts on the mound, it's veteran righty Tim Redding pitching tonight opposite Bucs' lefty Paul Maholm.

Maholm (4-5, 4.48 ERA) took the loss the last time Pittsburgh played Washington in DC back on May 3rd. In his four-year career, Maholm's now (0-2) in 3 starts against the Nationals, with a 6.38 ERA in 18.1 innings pitched with 26 hits, 13 ER's, 4 HR's, and 6 walks allowed, and 12 K's collected by the Pirates' pitcher.

Tim Redding hasn't recorded a decision in any of his last three starts, after having won three of four outings through the middle of May. (6-3) with a 4.15 ERA in '08, Redding's 2-2 with a 3.53 ERA in 10 starts against Pittsburgh in his own seven-year MLB career...Though Tim Redding's only earned a decision in 9 of his 13 starts, the Nationals are 10-2 in games begun with Redding's beard and calming presence on the mound.

Nationals' #'s Against Paul Maholm...

Jesus Flores - 2 for 3, .667 AVG, 1 HR, 2 RBI's.

Cristian Guzman - 2 for 3, .667 AVG, 1 HR, 3 RBI's.

Felipe Lopez - 4 for 21, .190 AVG, 1 HR, 2 RBI's.

DY - 2 for 3, .667 AVG.

Lastings Milledge - 2 for 6, .333 AVG, 1 HR, 2 RBI's.

Wily Mo Pena - 3 for 9, .333 AVG.

Ronnie Belliard* - 1 for 6, .167 AVG.

The "If They Were Playing" List...

Austin Kearns - 4 for 15, .267 AVG, 1 2B, 2 RBI's.

Nick Johnson - 2 for 3, .667 AVG, 1 2B.

Paul Lo Duca** - 5 for 12, .417 AVG.

Tim Redding Should Try To Avoid These Pirates...

Adam "Milhouse w/out Glasses" LaRoche - 2 for 5, .400 AVG, 1 2B, 1 HR, 1 RBI.

Jack Wilson - 8 for 24, .333 AVG, 1 2B, 3 RBI's.

Jayson Bay - 3 for 10, .300 AVG, 1 2B, 1 RBI.

(ed. notes)

* = According to's Bill Ladson's article entitled, "Belliard activated from DL", Ronnie Belliard was activated, Tyler Clippard returned to Columbus, and the Nationals' utility man Belliard, will return from the DL after a lengthy stay on the sidelines with what Mr. Ladson writes, was a "left calf strain."

** = Lost in all the recent roster movements was the news that Nationals' catcher Paul Lo Duca was giving up his broadcasting job to return to action on a rehab stint which will start, according to's Bill Ladson's article, "Lo Duca to begin rehab assignment" with a short stay at "Class-A Potomac on Sunday and then another couple games with the team," followed by a trip to Triple-AAA Columbus, where Lo Duca is expected to last, again, according to Mr. Ladson, "...a couple more games."

"Zimmerman Watch" - Federal Baseball's 24-Hour, 22 Hou...12 Hour... Intermittent Dodgy Coverage of the BREAKING NEWS! And ACTION!!......

In an article generated by the mysteriously anonymous Associated Press, located at entitled, "Zimmerman begins shoulder rehab, another exam on tap", the Nationals' face of the franchise, says that he would play through the pain if he thought he could help the team:

"That's the biggest thing. I don't mind the pain. I can play through the pain. It's only going to hurt three or four times a game, but I have to be productive and I'm not going to take somebody out of the lineup who can hit a home run when I can barely hit the ball out of the infield."

Pirates' Blogs For A Pittsburgh Perspective --

Buc's Dugout - The SBN's Pittsburgh Pirates' blog.

Bucco Blog- One of my old favorites.

7:05 pm EST in PNC with DC vs...uh, Pittsburgh. Redding vs Maholm. The Nationals just dropped four straight to the Giants. The Pirates just split a four-game set with the D-Backs. Pittsburgh and Washington split the four game series in DC during the first week of May. Game One...