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Spring Training: - Game Thread: Atlanta Braves at Washington Nationals LIVE on MASN and!!


Live from Space Coast, it's the Washington Nationals welcoming the Atlanta Braves for the second meeting of Spring Training between the two NL East teams. Washington right-hander Collin Balester is expected to start for the Nationals against the Braves' righty Kenshin Kawakami...(seen HERE on the SBN's Braves blog, Talkin' Chop) on MASN and at 7:05pm EST from Viera, Florida. 

After a start earlier this Spring in which Balester struggled, Washington Nationals' Manager Manny Acta told's Bill Ladson as quoted in an article entitled, "Balester struggles with control", that the 22-year-old right-hander could, "...throw 50 shutouts in a row or give up 200 hits the rest of the spring. He is not going to make the decision. We are going to make the decision," as to whether Balester would be part of the Nationals' rotation. 

Collin Balester allowed 9 hits and 5 runs in his next outing, and when Jordan Zimmermann and Shairon Martis both impressed in their respective starts, many considered it a sure sign that Balester would be the one left out when the starting rotation was named before Opening Day. Is the battle for the final two rotation spots over? 

Atlanta's Kenshin Kawakami missed his last start with "right shoulder fatigue", as writer Mark Bowman described it in an article entitled, "Kawakami scratched with tired shoulder", though Braves' Manager Bobby Cox assured Mr. Bowman, "'If we were in the season, he'd have started, easily.'" Kawakami signed with Atlanta back in January after 11 seasons in the Japanese Central League with the Chunichi Dragons in which the now-33-year-old, 5'11'' right-handed starter was 106-62 with a 3.17 ERA in nearly 1500 IP. 

The Mannyger Is A Blogger...

I'm hoping Collin Balester will continue with "Bally's Blog" even if he doesn't make the major league roster with Washington...If Balester does, he won't be the only one from the Washington Nationals with a blog...

Manny Acta? Yes! Manny Acta, according to a MASN Press Release today, the Nationals' Manager will start a blog at later this month, where he'll answer questions from fans and post video blogs in English and Spanish to keep the DC Faithful in the loop on his thinking as the team makes its way through the '09 campaign. 

The WBC's Over And Dunn And Hanny Are Coming Back...

Adam Dunn and "Wild" Joel Hanrahan have rejoined the Nationals. Unfortunately, Brian McCann has also returned to the Braves. Asked about his three error WBC performance by's Bill Ladson in an article entitled, "Dunn, Hanrahan back to work with Nats", Adam Dunn explained honestly:

"'That was a debacle. That's all I could say," Dunn said. "I could tell you a million reasons on what went wrong. The throwing error, that was a split-finger that went bad.'"

(ed. note - "Debacle? No argument here. Just go hide in left and hit some HR's now, please.")

?'s For The DC Faithful...

Will Dunn be back in left field when he returns to the lineup? 

Is there any hope for Collin Balester, or is he Syracuse-bound?

What's your Opening Day DC Lineup as of right now?

Who's Watching The Nationals?

Game time 7:05 pm EST LIVE from Space Coast.