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Game Thread: Washington Nationals at Florida Marlins- 2008 Game 85 of 162. "The Balester Era Begins..."

The Nationals look to rebound from a tough late-inning loss to the Marlins' last night that saw them blo...

Awww...Who am I kidding? It's all about Collin Balester tonight, as the Washington Nationals' 22-year old right-hander, an Expos' selection in the 4th Round of the 2004 Draft, 144th Overall, makes his Major League debut under the Curly "W".

Before being called to DC, Balester was having his best season in the Nationals' system, posting a (9-3) record and 4.00 ERA in 15 starts and 78.2 IP, with wins in 8 of his last 10 starts and a (4-0) record through four starts in June, in which he's allowed 22 hits, 7 ER's and 6 walks, while collecting 19 K's in 22.1 innings.

DC GM Jim Bowden reportedly challenged Balester this Spring, telling the young right-hander, according to Washington Post writer Chico Harlan's article entitled, "Injuries Force Teams to Rely on Youngsters":

"'If you want to get to us," he told Balester, 'you have to win. I don't want to see .500 down there with great stuff. What does that do for me?'"

Tough talk from the GM, is Bowden a .500 -GM thus far with his trades and acquisitions? Well the talking's done, let's see what the kid can do? Balester opposes the Marlins' 34-year old lefty, who makes his 153rd Major League start, and 197th overall appearance. Show'em what ya got, Balester...I'm late, let's go...