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Game Thread: New York Mets at Washington Nationals - 2008 Game of 151 of 162. "How Do You Think We Feel, If DC Keeps Beating The Mets, They Won't Get Strasburg."

On The Hill...

Game two of four to end the '08 schedule with the New York Mets gets underway at 7:10 pm EST tonight, with Washington throwing "Opening Night" Odalis Perez (6-10, 4.48 ERA) against the Mets' third-year starter Mike Pelfrey (13-9, 3.77 ERA).

The Nationals took last night's game 7-2, with John Lannan allowing only 1 hit and 1 run over 7.0 IP, and Anderson Hernandez and Elijah Dukes providing the Nationals' "O" on Hernandez's two-RBI single in the sixth, and Dukes' three-run blast in the seventh...

Mets' righty Mike Pelfrey's last start was against DC in NY's Shea Stadium last Wednesday, when, in spite of allowing 8 hits, 5 ER and 2 walks in 5.0 IP, Pelfrey avoided the loss only because Odalis Perez was worse that night, allowing 7 runs, 6 earned on 8 hits in 3.0 innings, in which he walked 3 and K'd 2 in a 13-10 Mets' win. In 3 years in New York, the 24-year-old Pelfrey's (2-2) against Washhington with a 4.29 ERA in 7 starts and 42.0 IP. Odalis Perez, who turned 31 on June 7th, has pitched in 20 games against New York, 13 times as a starter with a 4.61 ERA in 84.0 innings over his 10-year career.

Four of Odalis Perez's six '08 wins have come on the road, though his ERA at home, (2.76 in 14 starts) is far lower than the 6.38 ERA Perez has posted in 13 games away from DC, and the Nationals are 8-6 in Perez's Nationals Park outings...Pelfrey's got 5 more starts at home than on the road in '08, (17 to 12), and his 5.14 ERA away from Shea is much higher than the 2.94 ERA he's had in NY. New York lost the first four of Pelfrey's road starts this season, before winning five-straight, and they're (1-2) in Pelfrey's 3 road starts since July 30th, one a win in PNC Park against Pittsburgh and then two vs the Marlins in Miami, both of which were losses...

Nationals' #'s Against Mike Pelfrey...

Ronnie Belliard - 3 for 15, .200 AVG, 1 2B, 4 K's.

Kory Casto - 1 for 3, .333 AVG, 2 RBI's.

Elijah Dukes - 2 for 2, 1.000 AVG, 1 2B, 1 HR, 1 RBI.

Cristian Guzman - 3 for 10, .300 AVG.

Ryan Zimmerman - 5 for 20, .250 AVG, 1 2B, 2 RBI's.

Mets' #'s Against Odalis Perez...

Marlon Anderson - 2 for 7, .286 AVG, 2 RBI's.

Carlos Beltran - 7 for 19, .529 AVG, 3 2B, 6 RBI's.

Luis Castillo - 9 for 24, .375 AVG, 1 3B, 1 HR, 2 RBI's.

Carlos Delgado - 1 for 13, .077 AVG, 2 RBI's.

Damion Easley - 5 for 12, .417 AVG, 1 HR, 3 RBI's.

Jose Reyes - 8 for 11, .727 AVG, 1 2B, 1 3B.

David Wright - 7 for 14, .500 AVG, 2 2B, 2 HR's, 5 RBI's.

What Did DC Catcher Wil Nieves See?

Who better to critique John "Cool Hand" Lannan's effort on the mound last night than the man who was catching him, Nationals' catcher Wil Nieves, who told Washington Times' writer Ben Goessling in an article entitled, "Some insight on Lannan", that the left-hander's change, (the effective use of which Lannan claims in the article, has come as a result of recent conversations with his fellow DC lefty Odalis Perez), was the reason for his success last night against NY. What did Wil Nieves see? According to Mr. Goessling's article, Lannan's change:

"'...just looks like a fastball,' Nieves said. 'When you thorw(sic) it right, the rotation is exactly like a fastball. But when it's getting to the strike zone, it goes down. That's a good changeup. He had that one today. He threw a couple to Delgado and Church. The last pitch of the game, for him, I think to (Fernando) Tatis was that nasty changeup. He just felt good throwing it, and just kept going.'"

John Lannan claims that before last night, the idea of throwing the change inside to lefties, an approach to pitching which Perez was apparently espousing, was better in conversation than in practice, where it often turned into a BP fastball, as Lannan explains to Washington Post sports writer Mark Carig, who quotes the pitcher in an article entitled, "For Nats' Lannan, Change is Good", where Lannan states:

"'It's a great concept, but I was just never really comfortable doing it...Tonight I just threw it,' Lannan said. 'I was going to try it. It's something to work on.'"

Lannan's efforts apparently impressed his Nationals' Manager, Manny Acta, who told Mr. Carig:

"'I think it says a lot about the kid, taking into consideration such a rough start he had last time in New York,' Nationals Manager Manny Acta said. 'And then coming over here today, pitching the way he pitched. That's why we like this kid so much.'"

DC Spoilers? Nah...

According to's Bill Ladson's article entitled, "Dukes, Lannan help Nats hurt rivals", DC Manager Manny Acta doesn't see his team's last two weeks of games as an opportunuty to spoil the Postseason plans of either the Mets or Phillies, instead, Acta states succinctly:

"'We are not spoilers,' Acta said. 'We are the Washington Nationals. We were trying to snap a five-game losing streak that we had.'"

The "Team Player" Pedro Martinez...

In New York Daily News Sports Writer Adam Rubin's article entitled, "Not again! Mets fading fast in NL EAST, lose to Nationals 7-2", Mr. Rubin quotes last night's Mets' starter Pedro Martinez, who talks about former Met(and current National) Anderson Hernandez's two-out, 2-RBI single, which I described last night as having, "snuck" under a diving Mets' first baseman Carlos Delgado, stretching DC's lead to three at 4-1 in the sixth. The "Team Player" Pedro Martinez's opinion of the play:

"'I got the ground ball,' Martinez said. 'After that, you can't do anything.'"

...The "Team Player" Everybody...(applause) (applause)...

For The Mets' Fans' Perspective, Check Out The SBN's Mets' Blog:

Amazin' Avenue

Don't Forget To...

Check the NatCast if you're heading to Nationals Park...

Game two of four for DC with New York. Philly and Atlanta start a three-game series tonight as well, in Atlanta, so keep your eyes on the scoreboard, but don't look away from the DC game, you never know when Dukes is gonna hit his next HR??? Who's Watching The Nationals?