It took LA's 20-year old rookie lefty Clayton Kershaw 10 starts this season before he recorded his first Major League "W" over the same Washington team he'll be facing tonight, shutting the Nationals out over 6.0 innings in Dodger Stadium in a July 27th start in which he allowed 4 hits and 1 walk while striking out five in a 2-0 Dodgers' win. The '06 1st Round pick debuted on May 25th in St. Louis, and after 15 starts he's (2-4) with a 4.11 ERA and 69 K's in 76.2 innings pitched. Away from LA, he's (1-2) in 8 road starts, and he's (1-1) in 5 starts this month in which he's given up 28 hits, 11 runs, 3 HR's and 10 walks with 29 K's and a 3.41 ERA in 29.0 IP.
Washington lefty John Lannan (7-12, 3.95 ERA) is 25 starts into his second MLB season heading into tonight's game against LA, and he's coming off a win against the Cubs last Friday in which he gave up 5 runs on 7 hits in 6.1 IP, but was able to hang around long enough to benefit from the Nationals' 6-run sixth which ultimately decided the game. Lannan pitched 7.0 innings and allowed 6 hits and 3 runs in a loss to LA back on July 25th, his lone start against the Dodgers, and on the road this year Lannan's (5-5) in 15 starts with a 2.71 ERA, as opposed to the (2-7) record and 6.27 ERA he's posted in 10 starts at Nationals Park, where he pitches tonight...
Nationals' #'s Against Clayton Kershaw...
Wil Nieves - 2 for 2, 1.000 AVG, 1 2B.
Lastings Milledge - 1 for 2, .500 AVG.
Ryan Zimmerman - 1 for 3, .333 AVG, 1 SB.
John Lannan vs LA...
Nomar Garciaparra - 1 for 3, .333 AVG, 2 RBI's.
Matt Kemp - 1 for 2, .500 AVG.
Jeff Kent - 2 for 3, .667 AVG.
Juan Pierre - 1 for 4, .250 AVG.
DC's 18-year old shortstop prospect Esmailyn "Smiley" Gonzalez had a .350 AVG in 50 games and 177 at bats over which he collected 12 doubles, 3 triples, 2 HR's and 33 RBI's in this his second professional season, and according to MLB.com's Bill Ladson's article entitled, "Nats prospect wins GCL batting title", that was enough to earn Gonzalez the Gulf Coast League's batting title.
When the Nationals originally announced the signing of the then-16-year old Gonzalez out of the Dominican Republic on July 2nd of '06, MLB.com's Bill Ladson wrote, in an article entitled, "Notes: Nationals sign Gonzalez", that:
"The Nationals compared Gonzalez's glove to Ozzie Smith's and say he could potentially have the bat of a Miguel Tejada."
...and Mr. Ladson quoted DC's scouting director Dana Brown who describes, Gonzalez, (whose nickname is "Smiley") as:
"...a switch-hitter that could hit at the top of the lineup," scouting director Dana Brown said. "I saw a guy that could really field -- [he's] outstanding with the glove."
Gonzalez's Gulf Coast Nationals clinched the GCL's East division, finishing the season 33-22, and now they head to the postseason starting tomorrow at noon against the Gulf Coast Twins.
Check the NatCast if you're heading to Nationals Park...
The Nationals and Dodgers finish their season series, which now stand at 3-2 in LA's favor tomorrow night starting once again at 7:10 pm EST from Nationals Park in the nation's capital. Kershaw vs Lannan. Lefty vs Lefty. Zimmerman's Back? Dukes Too? Lasto's on fire...DC looks to sweep, Who's Watching The Nationals?