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Game Thread: Los Angeles Angels at Washington Nationals- 2008 Game 80 of 162. "'Don Sutton's Favorite Pitcher' Tries To Avoid The Sweep."

On The HIll...

I thought, with Ervin Santana set to start the final game of this three game Interleague series between Santana's LA Angels and the Washington Nationals, that the DC squad might have a chance to steal the last game and avoid being swept in their own home park, but it appears I was thinking about last year's Ervin Santana, who stunk his way to a (1-10) record with an 8.38 ERA in 14 starts and 16 appearances away from Angels Stadium, instead of the '08 version of the Anaheim starter, who brings a (6-1) road record and 3.10 ERA in 9 traveling starts into Nationals Park to face right-hander Tim Redding, and the NL East's loveable last-place team.

Overall, Santana's (9-3), with a 3.17 ERA so far in 2008, having pitched 102.1 innings in 15 starts during which he's allowed 84 hits, 36 ER's, 9 HR's and 23 walks with 91 K's collected. Tim Redding, (6-3, 4.12 ERA) hasn't added to his win total since the 15th of May, but the Nationals are currently on an eight-game winning streak in Redding starts, and, in fact, Tim Redding's started nearly half (13 out of 30) of the Nationals' win this season.

Ervin Santana's faced the Nationals once in his four-year MLB career, starting the infamous, 6/14/05, "Brendan Donnelly Gets Tossed For Cheating, and Mike Scioscia Bumps Frank Robinson, While Jose Guillen Goes Ballistic" game that we mentioned here at just the other day. Santana threw 6.1 innings that evening, allowing just 1 run on 4 hits and 3 walks, with 4 K's, before handing the ball to Donnelly, etc...Tim Redding's never faced the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, or the Anaheim Angels, or the old California ones...Oh, and one other thing...The Nationals came back to win the 6/14/05 game against the Angels, and their record after the win...??? Who guessed 38-27?

Nationals' #'s Against Ervin Santana...

Paul Lo Duca (?) - 1 for 2, .500 AVG, 2 RBI's.

Aaron Boone - 1 for 1, 1.000 AVG, 1 RBI.

Cristian Guzman - 1 for 2, .500 AVG.

DY - 1 for 2, .500 AVG.

(?) ='s Bill Ladson writes in his article entitled, "Lo Duca's start in left field cut short", that DC catcher, first baseman, DH and left fielder, Paul Lo Duca was pulled from last night's game, in which he did indeed start in left, and now:

"...the veteran may be added to the injury list after exiting the game in the top of the second inning with light-headedness and (being) taken to Sibley Hospital for precautionary reasons."

It's been a tough year for Mr. Lo Duca, who signed with DC on December 11, 2007 and was almost immediately identified, (as Nationals' catcher Paul Lo Duca) in the Mitchell Report (remember that), as having at one time taken performance enhancing drugs, which he admitted to, and apologized for, before injuring his knee while training for Spring Training, getting hit on the hand by Atlanta pitcher Jeff Bennett, costing him several weeks, and then injuring his hand again while swinging a bat on May 17th, which kept him out of the Nationals' lineup for over a month, until just over a week ago today...when he returned with a double in his first game back and then had just 1 hit in the next 10 AB's...(ed. note - "Vladimir Guerrero also left last night's game with flu-like symptoms, so maybe Lo Duca was similarly afflicted...just speculation, but let's hope for good news.")

More Bad News...

But there's no good news as far as Nationals' starter Shawn Hill is concerned, as Washington Post sports writer Chico Harlan notes in a post on the "Nationals Journal" entitled, "The Senators moved to Minneapolis, The Nats are moving to Rochester, Minn.", where in addition to reporting on the movement of Washington's Minor League affiliates, Mr. Harlan quotes DC Manager Manny Acta, who breaks the news that Shawn Hill will be following Nick Johnson to the Mayo Clinic, where Johnson had wrist surgery, and Hill intends to have his persistently bothersome forearm examined. Mr. Acta's reaction:

"'Well obviously this is not the Shawn Hill we wanted to see out there, and the pain continues, so he's going to the Mayo Clinic for another opinion, and I'm anticipating that he's probably going to be DL'd,' Manny Acta said after tonight's game.'"

For now it appears that Odalis Perez, who returns from his own injury worries this weekend, will replace Hill on the DC roster, after that...??? Mr. Harlan also includes a quick Q&A with Hill which is well worth a read...

And finally...

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

Actually, I want to ask anyone out there who might know?...Last I hear, Zimmerman was planning on being ready for one or another level of Minor League playoff-baseball, but since then I haven't heard a single word on Zimmerman? What's the scoop? Is Zimmerman's season done? Can we expect him back soon? Who's got some links?

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

7:10 start again at Nationals Park, as the Nationals look to avoid getting swept by the visiting Angels, who have brought zero-comfort to the bedraggled basesball fans in DC. Santana vs Redding. Rauch vs Rodriguez? The Tallest Pitcher in MLB History vs K-Rod? What happend to K-Rod's sport-goggles? Did he get LASIK surgery like Guzman? What, no one else was wondering? Who's watching the Nationals?