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Game Thread: Los Angeles Dodgers at Washington Nationals - 2008 Game 133 of 162. "Super Dukes Returns."

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On The Hill...

Greg Maddux's first start against the DC franchise came against Montreal on September 3, 1986, in the then-20-year-old starters first go-round with the Cubs, who had drafted the 6'0'' tall, right-handed, San Angelos, Texas native with the 31st pick in the 2nd Round of the 1984 MLB Amateur Draft. The Expos knocked Maddux out after 3.1 IP, collecting 6 runs on 9 hits in a 10-5 Cubs' loss that was started by Montreal legend, "El Presidente" Dennis Martinez, and won by none other than your favorite and mine, Nationals' Pitching Coach Randy St. Claire, who was then 25, and 3 years into his career with the Expos.

Now a 42-year-old Dodger starter, Greg Maddux (6-10), 4.25 ERA in '08, hasn't faced the Washington Nationals since May 15th 2005 in RFK Stadium, when he was a Cubs' starter for the second time, and the Nationals were in just the first season of their DC. The Nationals beat the Cubs in that game at RFK Stadium, knocking Maddux out after 5.0 innings in which he allowed 7 hits, 4 runs and a HR, but received no decision in Chicago's 5-4 loss.

Between that first and last start, Maddux has pitched against the franchise 56 other times in his 23 years in the Majors, for a total of 58 starts, and career totals, mostly against Montreal, including a (24-17) record, 10 CG, 4 of which were Shutouts, and a 2.55 ERA in 412.1 IP, during which he's allowed 368 hits, 148 runs, (117 earned), 17 HR's, 88 walks, (25 Intentionals), hit 12 batters and K'd 266.

Tim Redding, (0-3) in 3 starts and 2 relief appearances against the Dodgers in seven Major League seasons, hasn't faced Los Angeles since 2005, when he pitched for the Padres. Before that it was 1.0 inning in relief in '04, and two losses in starts against LA in '03, all for the Astros, who drafted Redding out of Monroe Community College in the 20th Round of the 1997 MLB Draft. (8-8) with a 4.54 ERA in '08, Redding will be making his 28th start of the season. Redding's (2-5) in his last 10 starts stretching back to June 30th, and the Nationals are 3-7 with Redding on the hill over the same period.

At home in Nationals Park, Redding's (4-5) in 14 starts for Washington with a 4.89 ERA in 77.1 IP, over which he's surrendered 93 hits, 42 ER's, 10 HR's and 23 walks, with 47 K's. Maddux's 1 start for the Dodgers was on the road in Philadelphia, where he gave up 9 hits and 7 ER on 2 HR's in 5.2 IP, and in 12 with the Padres away from San Diego, Maddux is (3-6) with a 6.16 ERA in 73.0 innings this season.

Nationals' #'s Against Greg Maddux...

Ronnie Belliard - 6 for 22, .273 AVG, 1 2B, 1 RBI.

Aaron Boone - 4 for 13, .308 AVG, 1 2B, 1 RBI.

Cristian Guzman - 2 for 6, .333 AVG.

Tim Redding - 0 for 2, .000 AVG.

The "If They Were Playing" List...HE's BACK!!

According to a Fanshot from the estimable Doghouse, which links to Washington Post writer Chico Harlan's, uh, post at the Nationals Journal entitled, "Welcome Back, Elijah", the Nationals' outfielder, Elijah Dukes will return to the DC lineup tonight replacing the recently DL'd Austin Kearns on the roster...Dukes hasn't played a game for DC since August 2nd, when he injured his right calf. Dukes injured his hamstring on Opening Day and missed all of April, and in May he returned, batting .167 in 19 games, but in the month of June, things came around as Dukes hit .292 with 4 doubles, 2 triples, 4 HR's and 15 RBI's, and he was 7 for 19, (.368 AVG) in July with 2 doubles, 2 HR's and 3 RBI's in 5 games before injuring his knee, which required surgery. Elijah "Super Dukes" reemerged just over three weeks later, and was 2 for 7, with 1 double and 3 RBI's in August before the calf injury sat him down again...How long will Dukes last this time? What can we expect from the Willie Harris, Lastings Milledge and Dukes outfield? Does Dukes go right back into the lineup...Tune in and see...

Attention Nationals' Fans, Time To Represent...

A week or so ago, the folks at tangotiger.net, posted a Fan Shot here about a project they've undertaken for six years now, entitled, "The 2008 Scouting Report, By the Fans for the Fans", but I got an email yesterday expressing surprise that so few DC fans from here and other sites had taken part in their project. It seemed like an interesting undertaking to me, so I thought I'd point it out and if you have a minute jump over there and fill out their survey so DC gets properly represented...

Tonight's game gets underway at 7:10 pm again, as the Nationals look to take their second straight against the Dodgers after last night's impressive bullpen performance. Maddux vs Redding. Dukes returns. Big Head Teddy loses again. All in a day at Nationals Park...Who's Watching The Nationals?