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Game Thread: Washington Nationals at Atlanta Braves- 2008 Game 99 of 162. "Ryan Zimmerm...THE KIDS CALL HIM ZIM! THE KIDS CALL HIM ZIM!!! Even In Columbus! Nationals' 3rd Base Prospect Earns A Call-Up To DC!"

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The Sunday matinee of the three games series between the Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves gets underway at just around 1:35 pm EST live from Turner Field with "Opening Night" Odalis Perez on the mound for DC against another ATL lefty, Jo Jo Reyes. After last night's Nationals' win, the season series between the two teams stands at 6-4 in favor of DC.

I asked My Brother Scout, Braves Fan and Source For All Things Baseball for a quick Scout(ing) Report on Atlanta's second year starter, Jo Jo Reyes, who was selected with the 43rd Pick, in the 2nd Round of the 2003 MLB Draft out of West Covina, California:

"(Atlanta Manager) Bobby Cox has had a quick hook with Jo Jo lately. His #'s say 'hard luck', the walks are high, and K-rate down, and in his starts against Texas (6/18)* and the Jays (6/29)*, he gave up 11 hits and two runs combined over 14 innings and got a loss and a no-decision, so..."

In 14 stars this season, the 23-year old left-handed Reyes has posted a (3-8) record with a 4.40 ERA, 1.43 WHIP, and a .276 BAA, allowing 81 hits, 41 runs, (38 earned), 8 HR's, and 30 walks with 59 K's collected. At home in Atlanta in '08, Reyes is (2-4) with a 6.16 ERA in 8 starts and 38.0 innings pitched, and over his first two seasons in Atlanta, Reyes is just (3-5) at "The Ted" with a 5.43 ERA and visiting teams hitting .285 off him, with 40 ER and 10 HR hit off him in 66.1 innings pitched in Georgia.

Reyes is (0-4) in his last 4 starts and (1-7) over his last 10, with the Braves (3-7) over that same stretch...Washington lefty Odalis Perez has struggled similarly, dropping 3 of his last 5 starts with two no-decisions, and in his last 10 outings Perez is just (2-4), with the Nationals (4-6) when his turn comes around.

On the season, Perez is (2-7) with a 3.71 ERA, 62 K's, 33 walks, a 1.46 WHIP, 98 hits against, 42 runs, 12 HR's and 33 walks allowed over 17 starts and 89.2 innings pitched, over which opponents have hit for a .279 BAA. Perez last faced the Braves on Opening Night in DC, (earning himself the nickname I think I'll not drop 'til he leaves DC), throwing 5.0 innings, 70 pitches, 43 for strikes, and giving up 4 hits, 1 ER and 1 walk with 2 K's in a game the Nationals won when Ryan Zimmerman hit his decisive walk-off HR.

Perez has faced Atlanta in Atlanta 8 times in his 10-year MLB career, 7 times as a starter, and he's accumulated a (1-3) record, 4.81 ERA, 1.33 WHIP and .285 BAA in 43 innings pitched against the Braves, but he also pitched for Atlanta for three years, so his career-totals in Turner Field include the 52 games and 33 starts he made as a Brave from '98-01, leaving Perez (8-10) with a 4.50 ERA in 22 starts and 31 appearances at "the Ted."

Jo Jo Reyes has never faced the Nationals so...

Nationals' '08 #'s Against Lefties...

Cristian Guzman - 46 for 127, .362 AVG, 11 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 12 RBI's.

Jesus Flores - 13 for 45, .289 AVG, 3 2B, 2 HR, 7 RBI's.

Ryan Langerhans - 0 for 9, .000 AVG.

AK - 7 for 49, .143 AVG, 1 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI's.

-Scout(ing) Report-...

Paul Lo Duca career vs Lefties - .321 AVG...Lo Duca vs Lefties in '08 - .241 AVG.

Braves #'s Against Odalis Perez...

Jeff Francouer - 5 for 8, .625 AVG, 1 3B, 1 HR, 2 RBI's.

Chipper Jones - 7 for 19, .386 AVG, 2 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR's, 3 RBI's.

Mark Kotsay - 6 for 18, .333 AVG, 2 2B, 2 3B, 2 RBI's.

Classic Braves vs Odalis Perez Matchup...

Julio Franco - 3 for 16, .188 AVG, 3 RBI's, 5 K's.

"Zimmerman Watch: Columbus Edition" - Federal Baseball's 24-Hour, 22 Hou...12 Hour... Intermittent Dodgy Coverage of the BREAKING NEWS! And ACTION!!......(Once Again With EXTRA! ACTION!!)...

Clippers' third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, 23, is due for a call-up to the Majors at any time now as the hard-hitting prospect is really excelling with the Nationals' Triple-AAA affiliate in Columbus, OH. Even with an 0 for 4 night Saturday against Indianapolis Indians, Zimmerman, a 2005 1st Round pick out of the University of Virginia, managed to score 2 runs, including the winning run after he walked to lead off the bottom of the ninth and then walked-off after he scored on a bases loaded HBP for a 6-5 Clippers' win**. Exciting!! Fantastic! I agree! This is the Best!! Bring the kid up!! That's just the kind of offensive boost the Nationals' need...Remember that name, Ryan Zimmer- THE KIDS CALL HIM ZIM!! THE KIDS CALL HIM ZIM!!!

The well-traveled reliver Chris Schroder** got the win for the Clippers in return for 1.0 inning of work in the top of the ninth. Roger Bernadina** was 1 for 3 and is now hitting .500 in 5 games for Columbus, with 10 hits in 20 AB's, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR and 8 RBI's. First baseman Larry Broadway** was 2 for 4 with 3 RBI's, and so far in '08, Broadway's hitting .269 with 24 doubles, 1 3B, 7 HR's and 41 RBI's. And veteran infielder Pokey Reese was 1 for 3, and took one for the team on the GWHBP!!!

Keep An Eye On These Negotiations!

According to's Bill Ladson's article, "Nationals working on Guzman contract":

"The Nationals are still in negotiations on a contract extension for shortstop Cristian Guzman. However, if a deal is not done soon, there is a possibility that Guzman could be traded before the July 31 deadline, according to a baseball source."

Damn you, "A Baseball Source" for even putting that out there. I'll argue that my pessimism is well-earned over the years as an Expos' and Nationals' fan, but I have a feeling that after three injury-filled mediocre seasons as a National, Cristian Guzman is going to cash in on his '08 All-Star season with either a trade to a contender or a free agent contract somewhere other than Washington, DC, even though Mr. Ladson's article quotes an apparently "optimistic" Guzman's agent Stanley King, who says:

"'Cristian is optimistic that something will get done,' King said by phone. 'Cristian has made concessions and has shown that he wants to stay in Washington.'"

But as Mr. Ladson goes on to note:

"With the Dodgers' Rafael Furcal out indefinitely with a back injury, Guzman will be among the top free-agent shortstops entering the offseason."

As for the Nationals' only other tradeable commodity, Jon Rauch, the White Sox and Devil Rays are interested according to Mr. Ladson, and the only name of interest on the Nationals' radar is....Adam "A Bigger Wilkerson" Dunn" a player DC GM Jim Bowden has coveted for several seasons...But Bill Ladson then goes where the entire DC blogosphere has been going for months, writing:

"Reds infielder/outfielder Adam Dunn is a person Bowden has interest in, but it will be interesting to see if the front office will allow him to acquire another player from Cincinnati."

Oh no he didn't!!! Apparently the DC baseball bloggers aren't the only ones questioning the fact that DC GM Jim Bowden is still sure he was right five years ago!! These last few weeks before July 31st are gonna be interesting alright...

* = box scores.

** = MiLB's Stats at the Clippers' Official site.

Game time is 1:35 pm EST live from Turner Field in Hotlanta, GA. "Opening Night" vs Jo Jo!! DC looks to take two of three from Atlanta. Will Paul Lo Duca continue to impress the scouts? Zimmerman's Coming Back? Zimmerman's Coming Back!!! Don't you think the Nationals could use another catcher? Who's watching the Nationals?