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Game Thread: Arizona Diamondbacks at Washington Nationals - 2008 Game 93 of 162.

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On The Hill...

(ed. note - "I hate having to start each game thread with losing streaks..BUT...")

Washington right-hander Jason Bergmann, (1-6, 4.15 ERA) has lost 5 of his last 9 starts without a win, with the Nationals (1-8) over the same period, a period, you may recall, which stretches allllll the wayyy back to May 18th when Bergmann beat the Mets on the road at Shea. In his last 4 starts, one of which was a 3-2 Nationals' win over the Orioles, the 26-year old Bergmann's (0-2), even though he's allowed just 5 runs on 23 hits, 2 HR's and 7 walks over the 26.0 innings he's pitched for DC, while receiving just 7 runs in support with opponents combining for 19 runs scored off Bergmann and the DC bullpen in those outings.

Arizona sends 27-year old righty Dan Haren, (8-5, 2.83 ERA) to try for the win in the rubber match on the road in DC. Haren dominated Washington in his last start against the Nationals, (earlier this season at home in Arizona), throwing 7.0 shutout innings and allowing just 4 hits and 3 walks with 5 K's in a 5-0 D-Backs' win. Over his 6-year career, Haren's faced the Nationals three times, twice as a starter, with a (2-1) record, a 2.40 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, and .176 BAA, having given up just 9 hits and 4 ER in 15.0 innings pitched against the DC franchise.

Jason Bergmann's faced the Diamondbacks 4 times, each as a starter, in his 4-year MLB career, with an (0-2) record, and he's pitched 21.2 innings and allowed 22 hits, 14 ER's, 9 walks and 6 HR's, with 13 K's and a 5.82 ERA against Arizona. At home in Nationals Park, Bergmann's (0-2) in 6 starts and 7 appearances, posting a 4.42 ERA in 36.2 innings pitched. Dan Haren's road record, (1-3) in 8 starts, might augur well for DC's righty though, as Haren's collected 7 of his 8 wins this season at home in Arizona, where he's (7-2) in 10 starts with a 2.43 ERA at Chase Field, as opposed to his 3.35 ERA on the road, where he's won just one of eight outings.

Nationals' #'s Against Dan Haren...

Jesus Flores - 1 for 3, .333 AVG, 1 2B.

Aaron Boone - 4 for 11, .364 AVG, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI's.

Wily Mo Pena - 2 for 6, .333 AVG, 1 HR, 1 RBI.

The "If They Were Playing" List...

Elijah Dukes - 3 for 10, .300 AVG, 1 HR, 2 RBI's.

DC Franchise Classic -

Tony Batista vs Dan Haren - 2 for 5, .400 AVG 2 HR's, 7 RBI's.

Trade Talk From Around The Internets...

MLB.com writer Jeff Fisaro mentions DC catcher Paul Lo Duca in his most recent post at the MLB "Trade Blog" entitled, "Marlins call out for catching", but it's not good new for those wishing the Nationals can bring back something of value in return for the veteran backstop, as Mr. Frisaro writes:

"Nationals catcher Paul Lo Duca doesn't appear to be in the mix. His throwing arm is an issue."

That's their only issue with Lo Duca...I have a lis-...Alright. Next rumor...

Remember a couple weeks ago when there was all that Felipe Lopez to Baltimore talk? According to a report at ESPN.com's "MLB Rumor Central" which quotes Fox Sports writer Ken Rosenthal's article entitled, "O's have interest in deal for infielder Lopez", "...the asking price for Felipe Lopez is not expected to be more than just a marginal minor league prosect."

...and then there's MLB.com's Bill Ladson, who wrote on Monday, in his article entitled, "Mailbag: Can trades solve Nats' woes?" that if the Nationals can't sign shortstop Cristian Guzman to the extension they've been attempting to get done, Mr. Ladson believes that it's possible Guzman could be, "...dealt for prospects before the deadline," and then when another fan writes in to ask if Mr. Ladson thinks Dmitri Young and Ronnie Belliard will be dealt before July 31st, Mr. Ladson responds:

"No, because they are having bad years and I don't see the Nationals getting anything good for them."

DC Prospect Shairon Martis To Appear In The XM MLB All-Star Futures Game...

The most recent edition of Baseball America's hit the newsstand near me today, and it's got a feature on the U.S. and World Rosters for the upcoming XM MLB All-Star Futures Game, which takes place Sunday July 13th at 12:37 pm EST in Yankee Stadium in NY as part of the MLB ASG festivities, and the game will feature just one DC prospect, right-handed pitcher Shairon Martis, with the profile on Martis noting:

"Best known for his no-hitter during the World Baseball Classic for his native Netherlands Antilles, Martis vaulted to Triple-A in his first year out of A-ball."

Martis, 21, was acquired by Washington on February 10, 2004 from San Francisco in return for veteran lefty Mike Stanton. After four starts for the Columbus Clippers, the 6'1'' righty is (0-1) with a 3.85 ERA in 23.2 innings pitched, allowing 26 hits, 10 ER, 2 HR's, and 12 walks with 21 K's.

Check Martis out Sunday afternoon, or check back here and I'll try to see what he does if he pitches...

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

The finale of the three game series with the D-Backs starts at 7:10 pm EST tonight live from Nationals Park. Bergmann vs Haren. Can Cast-O continue to spark the DC offense? Can Bergmann win for the first time since the middle of May? Is anyone watching Washington?