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Game Thread: Washington Nationals at Cincinnati Reds- 2008 Game 87 of 162. "Do You Think They'll Have Some Sort Of Ceremony To Welcome Jim Bowden Back To Cincinnati?"

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On The Hill...

DC lefty John "Cool Hand" Lannan made his second professional start, the first in front of the DC faithful, against the Cincinnati Reds last season on August 1st in RFK Stadium, earning his second win in the Majors for 5.2 innings of work during which he allowed 5 hits, 2 ER's, and 2 walks, with a .250 BAA, while collecting just one strikeout from Reds' batters. Lannan's second start against Cincinnati comes tonight in Great American Ball Park, where for the 17th time in '08, the (4-9) "Cool Hand" Lannan takes the mound for the Nationals.

Johnny Cueto will also be making his 17th start of the '08 campaign, but it's Cueto's first time around the Majors, and the 22-year old right-hander's facing the Nationals for the first time. After posting a (3-5) record in his first 11 starts, Cueto was (3-3) in 6 starts in June, while his ERA dropped from 5.40 in both April and May to 3.47 in more innings (36.1) than he'd pitched in either of the previous two months. At home, Cueto's (4-3) in 9 starts with a 4.11 ERA in 57.0 innings.

Cueto beat the Cleveland Indians in Interleague Play his last time out on the mound, throwing 6.1 scoreless innings, and prompting, in MLB.com's Mark Sheldon's article entitled, "Reds clinch Ohio Cup behind Cueto", the Reds' Manager Dusty Baker to proclaim:

"'He threw a great game,' Reds manager Dusty Baker said. 'He had outstanding tempo going. He controlled both sides of the plate.'"

Reds' shortstop Jerry Hairston, Jr. goes into a little more detail in analyzing and praising Cueto's efforts in Mr. Sheldon's article, telling the MLB.com writer:

"'When he's spotting his fastballs and throwing that breaking ball for strikes, he's tough to beat,' shortstop Jerry Hairston Jr. said. 'He's one of those guys that doesn't get really rattled or appear to be. You can tell he has made an effort to get better. Obviously, you know the talent is there.'"

The Reds' #'s Against John "Cool Hand" Lannan...

Adam Dunn - 1 for 2, .500 AVG, 1 BB, 1 RBI.

Ken Griffey, Jr. - 1 for 3, .333 AVG, 1 RBI.

Brandon Phillips - 1 for 3, .333 AVG, 2 CS.

Jeff Keppinger - 1 for 2, .500 AVG.

Nationals' #'s Against the Cincinnati Reds*...

Felipe Lopez - 12 for 32, .375 AVG, 4 2B, 1 HR, 6 RBI's.

Ronnie Belliard - 84 for 279, .301 AVG, 25 2B, 1 3B, 9 HR's, 31 RBI's.

Aaron Boone - 7 for 39, .179, 1 HR, 6 RBI's.

Cristian Guzman - 11 for 57, .193 AVG, 3 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI's.

DY - 23 for 71, .324 AVG, 5 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 13 RBI's.

The "If They Were Playing" List...(#'s Against the Reds.)

Austin Kearns - 9 for 30, .300 AVG, 1 2B, 2 HR's, 6 RBI's.

Ryan Zimmerman - 17 for 51, .333 AVG, 4 2B, 4 HR, 12 RBI's, .393 OBP, .647 SLG, 1.040 OPS.

Nationals' #'s @ Great American Ball Park...

Felipe Lopez - 190 G - 192 for 694, .277 AVG, 35 2B, 4 3B, 25 HR's, 91 RBI's.

Ronnie Belliard - 16 G - 18 for 57, .316 AVG, 5 2B, 3 HR's, 5 RBI's.

DY - 4 G - 8 for 15, .533 AVG, 4 2B, 5 RBI's.

DC Bullpen vs the Reds...

Jesus "Everyday" Colome - 5 G, (1-1, 6.43 ERA), 2.29 WHIP, .343 BAA, (7 IP, 12 hits, 10 R, 5 ER, 2 HR, 4 BB, 6 K's).

The Tallest Pitcher in MLB History Jon Rauch - 10 G, (0-1, 7.84 ERA), 1.65 WHIP, .302 BAA, (10.0 IP, 13 hits, 9 ER, 1 HR, 4 BB, 11 K's). ( Rauch @ GABP - 3 G, (0-1, 11.57 ERA, 3.00 WHIP, .364 BAA).

Saul "Sa-ool" Rivera - 4 G, (0-0, 8.44 ERA, 1.88 WHIP, .333 BAA. (5.1 IP, 7 hits, 5 ER, 3 BB).

The "If He Was Pitching Against the Reds" List...

The Flat-Brimmed Closer Chad Cordero - 12 G, (0-1), 1.76 ERA, 0.85 WHIP, .151 BAA, (15 IP, 8 hits, 3 ER's, 1 HR, 5 BB, 19 K's).

* = (ed. note - "Extended stats courtesy of Winston Smith.")

"Zimmerman Watch" - Federal Baseball's 24-Hour, 22 Hou...12 Hour... Intermittent Dodgy Coverage of the BREAKING NEWS! And ACTION!!......

According to MLB.com's Bill Ladson's article entitled, "Zimmerman taking small steps", the Washington Nationals' third baseman has started taking some swings with a bat, in an early step in his recovery from what is described as a, "small labral tear", and Zimmerman's quoted in the article reporting:

"'It's feeling better,' Zimmerman said before heading out to the cages for the second straight day on Wednesday. 'It's getting stronger, but it's hard to notice anything [in the early stages of rehab].'"

And also in Mr. Ladson's article...

DC Skipper Manny Acta reports that Austin Kearns, "... is expected to join the big league club Thursday in the series opener against the Reds," and upon his return to the DC outfield, Mr. Ladson writes:

"Acta said Kearns would start in right field and Elijah Dukes would move over to left when the 28-year-old (Kearns) gets back. Roger Bernadina would likely remain in center field until Lastings Milledge returns from a right groin injury."

Dukes, Bernadina and Kearns...Huh? Let's hope AK's elbow's up to snuff..."Cool Hand" Lannan's in control on the mound...Johnny Cueto's not as good as he's looked...and Cristian Guzman continues to rake, after hits in his last 11 games...Who's Watching the Nationals? 7:10 pm EST...Great American Ballpark...Ken Griffey, Jr.? Griffeyjr_medium