On The Hill...
The Sunday matinee of the Cincinnati Reds' three game stay in the nation's capital and Nationals Park against DC's favorite ballclub has the Washington Nationals poised to sweep the three game set. After a 5-2 win on Friday and a 10-6 victory last night, the New Nationals turn to right-handed rookie Collin Balester, while the Reds counter with their own rookie righty Johnny Cueto as they look to salvage at least one win in their visit.
Balester, 22, is just 5 starts into his MLB career, debuting on July 1st with a win over the Marlins, but since then the former 4th Round Draft pick has dropped three of four starts, with Washington losing all four outings, to leave the Huntington Beach, California native (1-3) with a 5.13 ERA and 16 walks in 26.1 innings pitched. Balester's (0-2) at home in 2 starts with a 5.06 ERA in 10.2 IP over which he's allowed 17 hits, 8 runs, (6 earned) and 2 HR's, though he's yet to walk a batter, while striking out 8 in Nationals Park.
Reds' right-hander Johnny Cueto, also 22, made his Major League debut back on April 3rd, throwing 7.0 innings, and giving up just 1 hit and 1 run (on a HR), while striking out 10 without issuing a walk in a 3-2 Cincy win over Arizona. Cueto, signed as an a "non-drafted free agent" by Cincinnati in 2004, lost four of his next five starts in April, with the Reds losing all five, before Cueto's second win, on May 5th over the Cubbies. 22 starts into his rookie season, Cueto's (7-10) with a 5.02 ERA and 116 K's in 129.0 innings pitched, having surrendered 129 hits, 72 ER's, 23 HR's and 47 walks.
Cueto pitched at home in Great American Ball Park when the Nationals visited Ohio over the July 4th weekend, beating Washington with 7.0 innings on the mound during which the Nationals had 7 hits and 3 runs with one HR off Cueto, who struck out 8 and walked just 1 in the 5-3 Reds' win. On the road in his rookie campaign, Cueto's (2-7) in 10 starts with a 5.70 ERA in 53.2 innings pitched...
1 Games' Worth Of Nationals' #'s Against Johnny Cueto...
Elijah Dukes - 2 for 3, .667 AVG, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI's.
Willie Harris - 2 for 3, .667 AVG.
Austin Kearns - 1 for 3, .333 AVG, 1 RBI.
Cristian Guzman - 1 for 3, .333 AVG.
The "Where Has He Gone? Hope You're OK" List...
DY - 1 for 2, .500 AVG, 1 2B.
Oh My God! He Calls Himself Zim!! Just Like The Kids...
There hadn't been new entries on Ryan Zimmerman's personal blog at comcastsportsnet.tv in so long that I'd given up looking, so when I checked tonight I was astonished to find that Zimmerman had indeed gotten a few posts up over the last few months, (while he was busy rehabbing and playing), the last of which was published just after the Jon Rauch trade to Arizona that brought the human spark plug Emilio Bonifacio to DC. Zimmerman's take on the deal at the time:
"Sorry to see Jon Rauch go. He is a good teammate and person. He will help the Diamondbacks for their playoff push. Good luck to him the rest of this season and beyond.
For us to get another 23 year old position player (Bonifacio) is great. I don't know much about him but I can't wait to see him play. I have heard he is the fastest guy in baseball and speed never goes in a slump."
So far since his call-up, Bonifacio's done just what Zimmerman predicted, providing a jolt, along with new infielder Alberto Gonzalez to what had become a stagnant offensive attack with the exciting combination of contact hitting and speed on the basepaths. But more important than Zimmerman's astute predicition, is his sign off...
"Thanks for reading...Take Care, Zim"
It's Not Just The Kids!! Zim Calls Himself Zim!! Zim Calls Himself Zim!!!
The Word Out Of Ohio...
The Dayton Daily News' Staff Writer Hal McCoy's article entitled, "Phillips' error, bullpen's explosion cost Reds", quotes Reds' second baseman Brandon Phillips who tells Mr. McCoy that he had seen his costly error coming, and had said as much to his teammates earlier in the weekend series, and again as he explained his 7th-inning error on an Elijah Dukes' grounder that allowed Washington to tie a game they'd go on to win:
"'Elijah Dukes hit the ball hard, and it just ate me up,' Phillips said. 'It hit the grass and skipped on me, off my wrist. I told everybody before Friday's game, 'Guys, you're going to make errors on this field. You have to read the ball good off the bat because the field is bouncy and fast.'"
Mr. McCoy then takes a little shot at the Nationals' Pinch Hittin' Pete Orr, noting that after Phillips' error, "Some strange this happened," like Orr's hit after Dukes' AB, which gave DC the lead, or as Mr. McCoy writes:
"Washington pinch-hitter Pete Orr, who had 18 major-league RBIs in his 398 major-league at-bats, poked a two-run single to left for an 8-6 Nationals lead."
Reds' Manager Dusty Baker's response:
"'This is the big leagues, and no matter who it is, you just can't let 'em back in the door,' Baker said.'"
Game time tomorrow is 1:35 pm EST. Cueto vs Balester. DC looking for the sweep. Federalbaseball.com readers waiting for the traditional DC Sweep Image! Did you know Zim Calls Himself Zim!! The Nationals have won two straight, after losing nine straight, it's just about time to find out....Who's Watching The Nationals?
Check the NatCast if you're heading to Nationals Park...(ed. note - "And make sure you wear red...")
Who's Been The Biggest "Addition" To The New Nationals' Lineup?
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