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Game Thread: Washington Nationals at Los Angeles Dodgers- 2008 Game 103 of 162. "Andre Dawson Has A Bruised Knee And Is Listed As Day-To-Day (Pause). Aren't We All?" - Vin Scully

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After taking two of three on the road in Atlanta, the Washington Nationals traveled out west and dropped three-straight in San Francisco, and now the Nationals head around-350 miles south to Los Angeles where they take on the Dodgers in a three-game weekend series at Dodger Stadium...

On The Hill...

DC's 23-year-old lefty John Lannan's won two straight starts after going (0-5) in his previous 8 outings from 5/24-7/9, and in these last two wins, which raised his '08 record to (6-9, 3.29 ERA), "Cool Hand" Lannan's allowed 9 hits, 1 run, and 6 walks with 4 K's in 12.0 innings on the mound against the D-Backs and Braves. Lannan, who will be making his 26th start over two seasons in the Majors will be facing the Dodgers for the first time. On the road in '08, Lannan's (4-4) in 11 starts with a 2.44 ERA in 70.0 innings pitched, over which he's allowed 67 hits, 19 ER, 4 HR's and 20 walks with 47 K's, as opposed to his 4.71 ERA, 41 hits, 22 ER, 8 HR's and 18 walks allowed at home, where he's struck out just 16 in 42.0 innings pitched...

The Dodgers counter with 23-year-old right-hander Chad Billingsley, who brings a (9-9) record and a 3.32 ERA to the mound for tonight's turn. (5-3) in his last 10 starts, Billingsley's (2-2) in 4 starts in July, having allowed 12 hits, 9 ER, 2 HR's and 8 walks while collecting 31 K's in 26.0 innings pitched, over which he's posted a 3.12 ERA. Against DC in his 3-year career, Billingsley is undefeated at (2-0) in 2 starts with a 2.77 ERA and 11 K's in 12 innings. So far in '08, Billingsley's held his opponents to a .235 AVG over 122.0 innings in 20 starts and 22 appearances...

Nationals' #'s Against Chad Billingsley...

Ronnie Belliard - 1 for 3, .333 AVG, 1 3B.

Felipe Lopez - 2 for 6, .333 AVG.

Ryan Zimmerman - 0 for 5, .000 AVG.

Willie Harris - 1 for 2, .500 AVG.

Lannan '08 #'s Breakdown...

Lannan vs Lefties - 25.1 IP, 28 hits, 4 HR, 7 BB, 17 K's, 1.38 WHIP, .272 BAA.

Lannan vs Righties - 86.2 IP, 80 hits, 8 HR, 31 BB, 46 K's, 1.28 WHIP, .249 BAA.

Say Goodbye To The Flat-Brimmed Closer...

Following up on yesterday's revelations that DC GM Jim Bowden had made clear the Nationals' intention to "non-tender" DC reliever Chad Cordero when the season was over, MLB.com's Bill Ladson is back with another report at the Nationals' official site entitled, "Cordero's agent upset with GM's timing", in which Mr. Ladson writes:

"One baseball source said that Cordero is so angry by(sic) the early announcement that he plans not to re-sign with the Nationals next year."

What's wrong? Cordero never pitched for the Reds? Was there ever really any interest in re-signing Cordero? GM Jim Bowden said as much in Mr. Ladson's first article on the issue, but his actions here seem to belie his own words...So, I guess DC fans had better hope that Joel Hanrahan works out as the closer...or does GM Jim have someone else in mind as a future stopper for the franchise? Rauch is gone, Cordero's gone...but I'm sure this is part of some plan...

The Flat-Brimmed Closer told Washington Post writer Chico Harlan how he received the news of his impending non-tender(ing) in a post entitled, "'It's a little disrespectful'" at the Post's "Nationals Journal" blog, in which Cordero recounts:

"'My dad called me,' Cordero said, explaining how he received the news. 'He had received a phone call from a friend who heard on the radio. My dad got the call, and then he called me and told me. That's how I found out. Bowden never once made contact with myself or my agent before he announced it on the radio.'"

Uh...any chance we can have someone else within the organization other than Mr. Bowden deal with Ryan Zimmerman on his new contract once this season's through?

And While We're On The Subject Of Disgruntled Former Players...

In another post on the "Nationals Journal" by Chico Harlan, entitled, "Milledge back, Estrada gone", the soon-to-be former DC backstop, who was placed on waivers to make room on the roster for a returning Lastings Milledge, tells Mr. Chico:

"I stil know I have a lot left in the tank, and look forward to playing against the Nationals."

That sounds vaguely threatening, right? What's he so mad about? Yes, Estrada was a National, for those of you who didn't notice, and in 23 games and 53 at bats, Estrada hit .200 with 9 hits and 4 RBI's...and he gets paid $1.25 Million regardless. Yeah, Thanks for your contribution Mr. Estrada...and don't threaten the Nationals. Maybe the Mets want to sign and release you again?

The Friday night special starts at around 10:40 pm EST. "Cool Hand" Lannan vs The Biller? Will Willie Harris Want To Play? Vin Scully would rather do things himself, thank you. The Best Announcer in Baseball? Can't think of one better? Sorry, Mr. Sutton! The Nationals are now 18-34 on the road...The Dodgers at home? One game over .500 at 25-24 and just 1.0 game out of first at 49-52, behind the Diamonbacks in the NL West's All Under-.500 Division...Who's Watching The Nationals On The Left Coast?...Rumor has it it's gonna be sunny and 70 in Cali???