The Philadelphia Phillies don't know what they're walking into...Alright they probably do...but the Nationals' team Philly faces today isn't the same team they beat here in three straight from July 29-31st, and it isn't the same team they faced in Philadelphia two weeks back, (when Philly took two of three from DC)...This Nationals' team has won six straight on the homestand and eight of their last ten, (including, admittedly the third game of the last series in Citizens Bank), and This Nationals' Team that the Phils face today, isn't even the same team that's won the six in-a-row at home, having just added six players to the expanded roster with the September call-ups...
Meet The New Nationals, Some Of Them Old Nationals...
Kory Casto, Roger Bernadina, Alberto "The General" Gonzalez and Levale Speigner have all done time in DC already, but the two new names added to the roster should be well-known to the DC Faithful as well, as they've spent a lot of time, in the news recently in one case, and in the organization in the other.
Shairon Martis, acquired from San Francisco for reliever Mike Stanton before the '06 Trade Deadline, pitched for the World Team in the XM All-Star Futures Game in Yankee Stadium this season, earning the save in the World's 3-0 win over the US Futures team, and after the game he told MLB.com's Bill Ladson, in an article entitled, "Martis rising through Nationals' ranks", that seeing Roger Bernadina, (Martis' childhood friend according to Mr. Ladson), make it to the Majors had inspired him to do the same:
"'The day Roger got called up, I said, "I have to be there also," Martis said. 'When I talked to him, he would say, "You should be here." That's why I'm excited to play harder.'"
Martis, first caught the attention of the larger baseball world as the only pitcher to toss a no-hitter (for the Netherlands) in the Inaugural World Baseball Classic, and he just represented the Dutch in the recently completed Olympics, after going (4-4) with a 3.98 ERA in 14 starts for Double-A Harrisburg and (1-2) with a 3.02 in 7 starts with the Triple-A Columbus Clippers, (including one post-Olympic appearance) for a combined (5-7) record and 3.64 ERA in 21 starts and 116.1 IP in his '08 season, over which the 21-year old right-hander has allowed 115 hits, 47 ER, 7 HR's and 45 walks with 99 K's collected.
Michael "Mike" Hinckley will be making his Major League debut the first time he pitches for DC, after 8 seasons in the Nationals/Expos' system since being drafted by Montreal with the 82nd pick in the 3rd Round of the '01 Amateur Draft. The 25-year old Hinckley has made 43 appearances this season, 7 as a starter, but it's in a relief role that he's earned his way onto the Nationals' roster, after posting a 3.16 ERA in 19 relief appearance for the Triple-A Clippers after starting the season, as Martis had, with the Harrisburg Sens. (ed. note - "I did a quick feature on Hinckley recently for anyone wanting to catch up on his bio...click here.")
On The Hill...Today in DC...
Philly starter Kyle Kendrick is (1-1) in 4 career starts against Washington, and the 23-year old, right-handed second-year starter will face DC for the second time this season after having beaten the Nationals on July 31st here in Nationals Park, by throwing 6.2 innings in an 8-4 win for the Phillies in which Kendrick allowed 7 hits and 2 ER while walking 1 and K'ing 4. On the year, Kendrick is (11-7) with a 4.83 ERA in 27 starts and 145.1 IP. In his last ten, however, Kendrick's just (3-4) overall (with Philly 4-6 in his outings), and in 5 August starts, he has a (2-2) record and a 6.08 ERA in 23.2 IP.
Tim Redding's struggled similarly, also going (2-2) in 5 8/08 starts with a high 5.46 ERA, and he's (3-5) in his last 10 starts going back to July 5th, with Washington 4-6 over the same stretch. On the year, Redding's the only DC starter above .500, at (9-8) with a 4.54 ERA and 103 K's in 158.2 IP. The 30-year old righty has faced Philadelphia 10 times in his 7-year career with a 3.15 ERA and .224 BAA the Phillies' franchise.
Nationals' #'s Against Kyle Kendrick...
Ronnie Belliard - 3 for 11, .273 AVG.
Emilio Bonifacio - 1 for 1, 1.000 AVG, 1 2B, 2 RBI's.
Kory Casto - 1 for 3, .333 AVG, 1 2B.
Willie Harris - 2 for 7, .286 AVG, 1 HR, 1 RBI.
Pinch Hittin' Pete Orr - 2 for 4, .500 AVG.
Tim Redding - 1 for 4, .250 AVG, 1 2B, 2 RBI's.
Ryan Zimmerman - 5 for 10, .500 AVG, 3 2B.
Phillies' #'s Against Tim Redding...
Pat Burrell - 6 for 25, .240 AVG, 1 2B, 1 3B, 4 RBI's.
Pedro Feliz - 5 for 16, .313 AVG, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI's.
Jimmy Rollins - 5 for 30, .167 AVG, 1 2B, 4 RBI's.
Chase Utley - 8 for 16, .500 AVG, 1 2B, 2 HR's, 5 RBI's.
Shane Victorino - 5 for 14, .357 AVG, 2 RBI's.
For A Phillies' Fans' Perspective, Check the SBN's Phillies' Blog:
Check the NatCast if you're heading to Nationals Park...
The Phillies enter play today just 1.0 game behind the NL East leading NY Mets, who face Milwaukee in Miller Park. Washington sits 24.0 games out of first, last in the NL East, 33 games under .500...a position also known as the SPOILER role...Who's Watching The Nationals try to spoil the Phillies' season? Who's Watching The Nationals???