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GameThread: Washington Nationals at Atlanta Braves - Game 5 of 162.

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Washington Nationals
@ Atlanta Braves

Saturday, Apr 11, 2009, 7:10 PM EDT
Turner Field

John Lannan vs Kenshin Kawakami

Partly cloudy. Game time temperature around 65.

The Washington Nationals Will Not Lose 5-Straight!!!

Complete Coverage >


DC Starting Lineup:

  1. Leadoff Lasto - CF
  2. The Guzzzzzzzz - SS
  4. The Big Walker, uh I mean Big Wilkie - LF
  5. Nick Nick Johnson Johnson - 1B
  6. AK - RF
  7. WWJD - C
  8. TAWH - 2B
  9. John "Cool Hand" Lannan - Throwing
John "Cool Hand" Lannan Looks To Recover From Opener...

"I didn't execute pitches," John Lannan told's Bill Ladson for an article entitled, "Nationals Can't Stop Marlins In Loss", after the Nationals' ace had allowed 6 hits, 6 runs and 2 HR's in just 3.0 innings of work in the Opening Game of the 2009 season against the Florida Marlins this past Monday.

Lannan's back on the mound today looking for his own and the Washington Nationals' first win of the season. Lannan's opponent on the mound, Kenshin Kawakami, who spent 11 seasons pitching in Japan before signing with Atlanta in January, makes his first major league start tonight. In an Atlanta Journal-Constitution article by David O'Brien, Kawakami was describe at the time of the signing as:
" of the two most high-profile free agents in Japan, where the 2004 Central League MVP compiled a 112-72 record and 3.22 earned run average with 1,328 strikeouts in 11 seasons for the Chunichi Dragons."
Braves' Manager Bobby "The Ejection King" Cox told writer Mark Bowman in an article entitled, "Kawakami ready to impress America", that Kawakami, in spite of struggling in his final Spring appearance, "'...didn't get roughed up hardly at all (this Spring)...He had one game where a couple of ground balls got through. He's been impressive..." and according Cox, who's seen more than a few quality pitchers in his years on the Braves' bench, "'He can rise to the occasion...You can just see it in him."

Does Kawakami's MLB Debut seem like the sort of occasion the pitcher might rise to? Can John Lannan get the Washington Nationals back on, (well really), "on track"? Will Kenshin Kawakame or the Washington Nationals get their first win tonight? Will this game last 6 hours? It's the Braves and the Nationals for the second time this season...Who's Watching The Nationals?

Game Time - 7:10 pm EST from Atlanta's Turner Field...Lannan vs Kawakami.

Who's Watching The Nationals?