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Game Thread: Washington Nationals at Philadelphia Phillies - 2008 Game 161 of 162.

On The Hill...

It's "Old Man Jamie Moyer and His Bag of Slow Tricks" vs John "Cool Hand" Lannan on Saturday afternoon at 3:55 pm EST, or whenever the rain lets up enough to allow the Washington Nationals and Philadelphia Phillies to play the next-to-last regular season game on their 2008 schedules. Moyer enters the afternoon tilt at (15-7) with a 3.78 ERA and 122 K's in 190.1 IP this season. Lannan starts the day at (9-14) and 3.86, having collected 112 K's in 177.0 innings.

Moyer has faced the DC franchise 22 times in his 22-year MLB career, posting a (10-4) record and a 2.89 ERA in 127.2 IP against the Expos/Nationals. The former Chicago Cubs' 4th Round pick, taken 135th overall in 1984, will be making the 584th start against the Nationals' left-hander John Lannan, who appears on the mound for 36th time in two seasons since his infamous debut against the same Phillies he faces today. After being ejected and receiving no decision in his first and only start against Philly last year, Lannan's (0-2) in 2 '08 starts against Philadelphia, and overall he's allowed 20 hits, 15 runs, (12 earned), 7 walks and 3 HR's in 16.0 innings, with 12 K's, a 6.75 ERA, 1.69 WHIP and .313 BAA the Phillies.

Lannan's (3-4) in his last 10 starts, with Washington 3-7 in games Lannan's started since July 31st, and he's (1-2) in 4 September starts, with a 3.52 ERA and 18 K's in 23.0 innings...Moyer is (5-1) in his last 10, with Philadelphia 8-2, and Moyer himself hasn't lost a game since August 5th, though one of the four no decisions since then was in a start against DC which Philly lost 4-3 here in Citizens Bank on 8/21 when Jesus Flores and Austin Kearns singled in a run each in the eighth for a comeback win which Nationals' closer "Wild" Joel Hanrahan closed out...

Nationals' #'s Against Jamie Moyer...

Aaron Boone - 2 for 15, .133 AVG, 1 HR, 2 RBI's.

Cristian Guzman - 10 for 37, .270 AVG, 4 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI's.

Lastings Milledge - 5 for 16, .313 AVG, 1 2B.

Ryan Zimmerman - 3 for 18, .167 AVG, 4 BB.

The "If They Were Playing" List...

Ronnie Belliard - 8 for 30, .267 AVG, 5 2B, 1 HR, 5 RBI's.

Jesus Flores - 5 for 16, .400 AVG, 3 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI's.

Austin Kearns - 5 for 14, .357 AVG, 2 2B, 1 3B, 2 RBI's.

DY - 6 for 22, .273 AVG, 1 2B.

Yes, Moyer Is That Old...

Gary Carter vs Moyer - 8 for 20, .400 AVG, 1 2B, 2 RBI's.

Phillies vs John Lannan -

Pedro Feliz - 3 for 5, .600 AVG.

Ryan Howard - 3 for 8, .375 AVG, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI's.

Jimmy Rollins - 4 for 9, .444 AVG, 1 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI's.

Chase Utley - 4 for 8, .500 AVG, 2 RBI's.

Shane Victorino - 2 for 8, .250 AVG.

Jayson Werth - 2 for 5, .400 AVG, 1 HR, 1 RBI.

Who's On 1st In '09?...

The biggest question mark at the start of '08 season, will, it seems, be the biggest question of the winter for the Nationals. According to writer Bill Ladson's article entitled, "Nationals to monitor Young Johnson", the Nationals are acknowledging the obvious when it comes to DC first basemen Nick Johnson and Dmitri Young:

"...general manager Jim Bowden hinted that the Nationals may need to go out and get a first baseman in case Johnson and Young go down again next season."

Who are they going to get? Can you see any reason why Mark Teixeira would want to sign in DC? Don't tell me Adam Dunn can play first!...Mr. Ladson notes that with Johnson and DY injured, Aaron Boone got the most starts at first for DC in '08, but Mr. Ladson also acknowledges that Boone, " not considered a long-term solution." Kory Casto and Ronnie Belliard are the other two players Manny Acta turned to to fill in at first, (ed. note - "I'm trying to forget about Lo Duca at first, please don't remind me.") Casto, asked to play a third position for DC, was serviceable at first, but still hasn't shown the kind of power that's gonna win him the starting job...and Belliard played first like a second baseman...

Bill Ladson wrote just the other day at the Nationals' official site in an article entitled, "Nats top pick Marrero ahead of schedule", about the recovery of the Nationals' top first base prospect, Chris Marrero, who suffered a broken right fibula and torn ligaments in his ankle when injured on a play at the plate back in June, and is only now beginning to resume baseball activities. But Marrero was drafted as a third baseman, moved to the outfield and only started to play first this year...

With the Seattle Mariners losing their way to a last place finish it looks like's dreams of drafting Stephen Strasburg #1 overall next year might not become a reality...? Can the Nationals find a first baseman for the future in the '09 Draft? I turned to's Jonathan Mayo's article entitled, "Draft over, eyes turn to '09 prospects", where Mr. Mayo has a first base prospect named Dustin Ackley out of the University of North Carolina, a 6'1'', left-handed hitting 1B/OF ranked high on his list. Here's a quick look at Ackley...

We'll have all winter to think about who plays first in '09...

For A Philly Fan's Perspective, Check out the SBN's Phillies' blog:

The Good Phight

For now it's the next-to-last game of the '08 season at 3:55 pm EST on FOX. Lannan vs Moyer. DC vs Philly. 60 wins vs 101 losses? Will Ryan Zimmerman be back at third? Who gets the next HR for DC? Can the Nationals beat the Phillies as Philly looks to clinch the division? Who's Watching the Nationals?