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Game Thread: Washington Nationals at Cincinnati Reds- 2008 Game 89 of 162. "Poor Underappreciated July 5th, or Trade Talk Brings Up BIG ?'s For DC's Nationals."

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"Don Sutton's Favorite Pitcher" DC righty Tim Redding is (1-3) in 7 starts and 8 appearances against Cincinnati in his 7-year MLB career, allowing 37 hits, 24 ER, 7 HR's and 14 walks in 36.0 innings opposite the Reds. Redding's failed to register a decision in 8-straight appearances, though he's (2-0) in his last 10 starts, and the Nationals are (9-1) over that same stretch, breaking a nine-game winning streak with Redding pitching, (that stretched back to Redding's last two wins on 5/14 and 5/19), just last Monday when Florida beat Washington 6-5 in a Redding start at Dolphin Stadium, though Redding's own no-decision streak remained intact...

Reds' right-hander Aaron Harang's started 3 games against the Nationals with an (0-1) record and a 6.75 ERA in 14.2 innings pitched, over which he's allowed 24 hits, 11 ER, 3 HR's, and 6 walks, while striking out 7. Harang's (1-5) in his last 10 starts, with the Reds (4-6), having won two straight Harang outings, and 3 of 4 following a streak of 5-straight losses when the 30-year old San Diego, California native's turn in the rotation came around.

Nationals' #'s Against Aaron Harang...

Ronnie Belliard - 6 for 17, .438 AVG, 1 2B, 2 RBI's.

During yesterday's game at Great American Ball Park, the Reds announced that Aaron Harang's next outing on Saturday had been pushed back. Harang's start was moved to Tuesday, because of what an article (and its title) at CBSSports.com entitled, "Reds' Harang to miss next start due to stiffness in forearm; Fogg to sub", described as "forearm stiffness." The report also includes a quote from Reds' Manager Dusty Baker, who explains:

"'He (Harang)has stiffness in his forearm muscle, like he had two years ago when (sic) was skipped in the rotation,' Baker said."

Josh Fogg, 31, returns from a rehab stint for "lumbar back spasms", and will pitch for the first time since June 1st. Fogg's got 8 starts on his resume against the Nationals, with a (1-3) record, a 3.17 ERA and a 1.43 WHIP in 48.1 IP, over which he's allowed 48 hits, 17 ER's, 4 HR's and 21 walks with 21 K's, and a .267 BAA. Fogg's (0-1) in 2 starts and 4 appearances at home this season, giving up 14 ER's and 5 HR's in 11.1 innings pitched in Great American Ball Park.

Nationals' #'s Against Josh Fogg...

Ronnie Belliard - 3 for 6, .500 AVG.

Aaron Boone - 3 for 7, .429 AVG, 1 HR, 3 RBI's.

Paul Lo Duca - 8 for 19, .421 AVG, 2 2B, 1 3B, RBI.

Wily Mo Pena - 2 for 3, .667 AVG, 2 2B, 1 RBI's.

The "If They Were Playing" List...

Nick Johnson - 4 for 9, .444 AVG, 3 2B, 1 RBI.

Ryan Zimmerman - 3 for 8, .375 AVG, 2 2B.

Tim Redding Had Better Be Careful With...

Adam Dunn - 2 for 9, .222 AVG, 1 2B, 1 HR, 1 RBI.

Ken Griffey, Jr. - 3 for 7, .429 AVG, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI's, 3 BB.

Trade Deadline NEWS...

...And this is probably not what all the Bowden-Haters out there want to hear, but Washington Post writer Chico Harlan, in a post entitled, "As the trade deadline approaches", at the "Nationals Journal" describes the DC GM Jim Bowden's approach heading toward July 31st as, "...a maverick strategy founded on a simple premise: This season is not worth salvaging ... in any way." After which Mr. Chico quotes Mr. Bowden, who elaborates further:

"'We're open to any trade that makes us better long-term. That includes proven major leaguers that are successful, top prospects in the minor leagues; we're open to anything. We've told every club, we have complete flexibility on trading players and acquiring players. So we're keeping every avenue open to us. We've let all the clubs know that. If someone wants to know if we're a buyer or a seller, we're both.'"

...and when Mr. Chico mentions to the DC GM that this sounds, "...more like an approach a team would have in the offseason," Mr. Bowden responds:

"'Completely. Sure. We'll trade a piece that hurts our team this year to help our team win a year from now or two years from now. Total focus is on the long-term.'"

(ed. note - "Well, that makes me want to keep watching in '08...How about you?")

Washington Times writer Thom Loverro's article, "Angelos rests but Lerners shouldn't", wonders how much of a leash the Washington owners are going to keep on DC GM Jim Bowden heading towards the deadline, especially after the moves Bowden made to put together the '08 version of the Nationals. Mr. Loverro then offers his own opinion on Bowden's motivation:

"I suspect Nationals general manager Jim Bowden is in survival mode these days - not that his job is in jeopardy.

"But given the list of questionable deals that have failed this season, you have to wonder whether the affection for Bowden that Mark Lerner holds is there throughout the rest of the Lerner group..."

The "questionable deals" Mr. Loverro points to in the article, Lo Duca and Johnny Estrada, who have both been injured and lost the starting spot to the man who should have had it since March, Jesus Flores (ed. note - That's my opinion, not Mr. Loverro's.")...The $5 million dollars Felipe Lopez is getting as the 4th middle infielder behind Guzman, Belliard and Willie Harris...Wily Mo Pena, DY, Austin Kearns, Chad Cordero, etc...

Mr. Bowden's record leads Mr. Loverro to write that while the fans of the Nationals' neighbors to the north have always complained about Peter Angelos' heavy-handed involment in the Orioles' roster decisions, the DC faithful, Mr. Loverro warns:

"...should fear the opposite, that their owners won't step in. Interference of some sort is required if the Nationals want to move forward."

...and here I thought all of the problems could be solved by firing Lenny Harris?

Game time 7:05 pm EST. The 3rd of 4 in Great American Ball Park. Redding vs Harang Fogg. The Nationals have dropped three straight, including the first two games in Great American Ball Park. Will Griffey hit #605? Can Redding finally earn his 7th win? He's been stuck on 6 since May 19th...Adam Dunn's just a bigger Wilkerson...Let's play baseball!!