On The Hill...
Tim Redding's been stuck on 6 wins since May 19th, recording no-decisions in 9-straight starts, over which the Nationals themselves are (7-2), though Redding's failed to personally join in on the winning(or losing). At (6-3) since that 5/19 win, Redding's posted a 4.06 ERA with a 1.34 WHIP in 108.2 IP in '08, and the 30-year old righty's given up 108 hits, 49 ER's 13 HR's and 38 walks with 69 K's in 19 starts.
Though Redding didn't face Houston during Washington's three game trip through Texas back on May 6-8th, he's faced the franchise twice in his 7-year MLB career with a (1-1) record, a 1.93 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, and 13 hits, 3 ER's, 2 HR's and 6 walks allowed and a .265 BAA in 14.0 innings.
Redding's opponent on the mound tonight, Astros' righty Roy Oswalt (7-8, 4.60 ERA) is (3-1) in 9 games and 7 starts against the DC franchise over his own 8-year career in the Majors, with an 0.86 WHIP, .240 BAA, and 29 hits, 16 ER's, 3 HR's and 8 walks allowed, and 42 K's collected over 54.2 innings pitched.
Oswalt received no decision when the Astros beat the Nationals during that May series in Minute Maid Park, throwing 7.0 innings and giving up 6 hits and 3 runs on 2 HR's and 2 walks while striking out 9 DC batters in a 4-3 Houston victory. Away from home in '08 Oswalt's compiled a (3-5) record in 9 starts in which he's posted a 4.37 ERA with opponents hitting for a .283 BAA.
Nationals' #'s Against Roy Oswalt...
Austin Kearns - 6 for 35, .171 AVG, 3 RBI's, 12 K's.
Wily Mo Pena - 3 for 10, .300 AVG, 2 2B's, 1 HR, 3 RBI's.
Paul Lo Duca - 5 for 20, .250 AVG, 2 2B's.
Ronnie Belliard - 8 for 15, .278 AVG, 1 RBI.
Felipe Lopez - 7 for 24, .292 AVG, 3 2B.
The "If They Were Playing" List...
Aaron Boone - 9 for 23, .391 AVG, 2 HR's, 3 RBI's.
Ryan Zimmerman - 3 for 8, .375 AVG, 2 HR's, 3 RBI's.
Johnny Estrada - (ed. note - "A National, I swear.") - 5 for 14, .357 AVG, 1 HR, 4 RBI's.
Tim Redding Should Look Out For...
Carlos Lee - In 9 July games El Caballo's 15 for 36, .417 AVG, with 2 2B's, 3 HR's, 10 RBI's and 7 walks, a .500 OBP, .722 SLG, 1.222 OPS. (El Caballo - 3 for 6, .500 AVG, HR, 2 RBI's vs Redding)
Ty Wiggington - In 6 July games, Wiggy's 9 for 29, .310 AVG, 1 2B, 2 HR's, 8 RBI's and 2 walks. (Wiggy - 0 for 9 with 3 K's in career vs Redding)
Washington Times' writer Ben Goessling reports in an article entitled, "Maxwell out another month", that those waiting for the Nationals to recall outfield prospect Justin Maxwell, (who came up in September last season), will be waiting until at least then to see him in the Majors again in '08, as an injured wrist has sidelined the 24-year old former 4th Round pick since May 29th, and will keep him out of the lineup for another month.
Elsewhere in Mr. Goessling's article he reports that the Nationals are having a hard time signing their '08 Draft picks after having been willing (and successful) inking previous picks over the last few seasons...and Mr. Goessling reports on another prospect, Shairon Martis' selection to the XM MLB All-Star Futures Game, quoting DC GM Jim Bowden, who says of Martis:
"'He's always been one of our favorites,' Bowden said. 'He's already in [Class AAA] at age 21. This is a major league starting pitcher.
"'He was a prospect at 89-91 [mph on his fastball] with a great [change-up] who knew how to pitch,' Bowden said. 'Now he's at 94 with the same stuff.'"
It'll be interesting to see how Martis does with the jump from Triple-AAA Columbus to NYC's Yankee Stadium on Sunday afternoon at the All-Star Weekend festivities.
The good folks at the PRESIDENTS RACE: LET TEDDY WIN blog have the weirdest, most visually odd interview you'll see with DC (Nationals') President Stan Kasten and Big Head Teddy Roosevelt from "ESPN's First Take"...(ed. note - "Just plain weird...but kudos to Mr. Kasten for REALLY playing along.")
Check the NatCast if you're heading to Nationals Park...
Can Redding record his first decision since May? Will anyone be watching on TV? Will Big Head Teddy Win A Race? It's a 7:35 pm EST start time on a Friday night in DC? Come for the game, stay for the fireworks...and rumor is you can get free M&M ice cream somewhere in the Stadium...LET'S GO NATS GO!!!