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Game Thread: Washington Nationals at Philadelphia Phillies - 2008 Game 127 of 162. "What Kind Of Nationals' Fan Are YOU?"

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(ed. note - "In the past few days a few people have checked in in the Fanpost and Fanshot sections and around the internets to provide their own opinions on the state of the Washington Nationals' franchise after the trade deadline, the draft pick signing deadline and the 126th game of the '08 season. Their posts brought to light what I see as a growing divide amongst Nationals' fans in this their fourth year in DC, with the split along the lines of those still holding out hope for the Plan, and those who want the Plans' architect removed and a new "Plan" implemented immediately, and I know it's DC in an election year, but I'm talking baseball, no metaphors or anything...I Swear. What kind of Nationals' fan are YOU? Give these posts a read and see where the lines are being drawn, and what side YOU are on...")

- CptChaosSidekick started it off with a Fanshot link entitled, "What's going on in the Nats' Front Office?" which led to a post on Mr. Irrelevant's blog which is one of many, many, many, recent articles criticizing DC GM Jim Bowden's handling of the Aaron Crow Affair.

- wxguy was next with a Fanpost entitled, "Are the Lerners serious about winning, or is this another Bob Short type owner", in which he writes that he doesn't believe the fault for the Nationals' struggles lies with the DC GM, explaining, "I'm not going to blame Jim Bowden, Manny Acta, or Stan Kasten, because I believe the Lerners have told the team not to spend to build this team." Why, in his opinion, won't the Lerners spend money? Where does wxguy think Manny Acta will be managing when he leaves DC? It's all speculation, but read and see what wxguy thinks...

- Then there's LoutheMETfan who seems to be gently chiding DC fans in his Fanpost entitled, "CELLAR DWELLERS: A POSITIVE OUTLOOK", which links to a recent Washington Post editorial acknowledging the positive response the Nationals have received from the crowds in Nationals Park in spite of the team's struggles, and Lou points to a few examples of perennial losers who have turned things around recently, before noting, "The NATS time will come...Later probably before sooner,"...at which point I start to wonder just what team Lou is a fan of...Decide for yourself.

Around the Internets...

I've been reading this site for a while and I'm still not sure who the writer thinks is to blame for the Nationals' problems, but read for yourself and decide at firejimbowden.blogspot.com...

Dave at Bottomfeeder Baseball was all over the Aaron Crow/Draft Pick Deadline coverage, and he wrapped it all in a recent post entitled, "More Crow Post-Mortem."

My opinion? Maybe some other time...I'll just say that some of the Expos' teams were better than this...Any chance we could just spruce up Olympic Stadium a bit and give it a go up north again? Right. Sorry, I'm being selfish, I just want some Moe's Nachos and they're right around corner from the Stade Olympique in Montreal...

And Now Back To Tonight's GAME THREAD...

On The Hill...

It's going to be start number nine for DC right-hander Collin Balester, who is (2-5) in his rookie campaign with a 5.06 ERA in his first 42.2 Major League innings pitched. Balester matches up against the Phillies' veteran righty Brett Myers (5-10, 5.02 ERA), who will be making the 166th start of 7-year career with Philadelphia, and the 20 start of his career against the DC franchise.

Myers is (8-8) with 4 saves in 19 starts, 10 relief appearances and 123.0 innings pitched against the Expos/Nationals, with a 4.61 ERA and 99 K's collected from the Phillies' NL East rivals. Balester faced Philadelphia on July 29th in DC, throwing 6.0 innings and allowing 6 hits, 2 ER and 1 HR, with 0 walks and 6 K's in a 2-1 DC loss in which Balester received no decision.

On the road in his first tour of the majors, Balester's (1-2) in 4 starts, with a 5.23 ERA, 1.21 WHIP and .211 BAA in 20.2 innings on the mound. Myers, (1-7) on the road in '08, is a game above .500 at (4-3) in Citizens Bank Ballpark, where he's posted a 3.48 ERA, 1.11 WHIP and a .211 BAA as opposed to his 6.35/1.66/.301 #'s away from Philly...Myers is just (2-4) in 10 starts since June 4th. Balester has lost two straight, three of his last four and five of seven since winning his debut against the Florida Marlins...

Nationals' #'s Against Brett Myers...

Ronnie Belliard - 2 for 14, .143 AVG.

Jesus Flores - 2 for 8, .250 AVG, 1 2B.

Cristian Guzman - 8 for 22, .364 AVG, 1 RBI.

Austin Kearns - 7 for 21, .333 AVG, 2 2B, 4 RBI's.

Lastings Milledge - 4 for 11, .364 AVG, 2 2B, 3 RBI's.

Ryan Langerhans - 4 for 27, .148 AVG, 1 2B, 1 3B, 2 RBI's.

Ryan Zimmerman - 10 for 26, .385 AVG, 4 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 12 RBI's.

Philly's First Look At Balester...

Pat Burrell - 2 for 3.

Jimmy Rollins - 1 for 3.

Ryan Howard - 1 for 3.

Chase Utley - 1 for 3, 1 HR.

Shairon Martis Olympic Update...

In '08 Olympics' Baseball yesterday, DC pitching prospect Shairon Martis sufferered his second loss in as many starts, giving up 4 hits and 3 ER's in 6.0 innings while walking 3 and K'ing 5 in a 4-0 loss to the Canadians. Yurendell de Caster, Martis' teammate on the Dutch squad and with Washington's Triple-A affiliate in Columbus, was 0 for 3 in the losing effort, with the Netherlans held to just 2 hits in the shutout.

...And Wednesday, the Dutch dropped a 10-0 decision to the Korean team, with de Caster 0 for 2 with 2 K's...

Try to catch some Olympic Baseball if you get a chance, because, if you didn't know, this is the last time baseball will be played as an Olympic sport...and Philadelphia Inquirer writer Phil Sheridan doesn't think that's a bad thing, as he explains in his article entitled, "Phil Sheridan: Baseball doesn't belong in Olympics", in which Mr. Sheridan highlights the recent US/China beaning incident, and explains why it's a perfect example of why baseball and the MLB-style of the game in particular is not suited to the Olympic Spirit...(ed. note - "Fine with me. After just one tourney, I'm on board with the WBC...even after Ayala!")

For a Philly Fan's Perspective Check Out The SBN's Phillies' blog....

The Good Phight.

Day 9 of the Washington Nationals' Collin Balester Era gets underway at 7:05 pm in Philadelphia, PA's Citizens Bank Park. Balester vs Myers. Zimmerman vs Myers. Can anyone on DC hit Lidge? Are 4 runs or 5 for that matter ever enough to win in this miniature ballpark...(like a real ballpark, only smaller)...The Wild Card Standings Are Up on the right sidebar now...Will the Nationals drop 12 straight? What the **** is going on with the Nationals? C'mon already, The Nationals have to play a game above .500 the rest of the way to Avoid 100 Losses...Who's Watching The Nationals?