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GameThread: Houston Astros At Washington Nationals- Game 24 of 162.

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Next Game

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Houston Astros
@ Washington Nationals

Monday, May 4, 2009, 7:05 PM EDT
Nationals Park

Brian Moehler vs John Lannan

Mostly cloudy,rain. Game time temperature around.

?'s For The DC Faithful...

Two Straight Lefties Against The Astros?

The Kids Call It The "Streak"? What Do You Think? 22-Straight?

What Will You Do If There Two-Straight Days Without Baseball?

LINKS:

Thoughts on the first month
Tuesday Nats Stats, Friday Edition: Embrace the Suck*

Complete Coverage >


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DC Starting Lineup...

  1. The Guzzzzzzz - SS
  2. Nick "Two-Spot" Johnson - 1B
  3. THE KIDS CALL HIM ZIM!!! - 3B
  4. The Big Walkay - LF
  5. Elijah "Super" Dukes - CF
  6. AK - RF
  7. WWJD? - C
  8. Anderson "Elvis" Hernandez - 2B
  9. John "Cool Hand" Lannan - Tying The Team Together...

"Cool Hand" Hot and Cold...(ed. note - "So I used the title again...")

Washington lefty John Lannan was (0-2), though he pitched well in two starts against St. Louis, but rain washed out the finale of the Cardinals' four-game stint in DC against the Nationals, so Lannan, who was forced to prepare as if he was starting yesterday, has his start pushed back a day, and instead he'll open the two-game series the Nationals and Houston Astros begin at 7:05 pm EST tonight in Nationals Park. John Lannan's (2-0) in two career starts against the Astros...

The Astros were the last team John Lannan faced in 2006, earning his 3rd win in 6 starts in a 7-6 Nationals' victory in Houston in which he contributed 5.0 innings of work on the hill (uh, the one in the infield, as opposed to Tal's Hill in the outfield), allowing 5 hits and 3 runs, before the Nationals sent him down for the year after he'd jumped from Class A to Double-A, Triple-A and finally the Majors with DC in the span of one (relatively) remarkable season. Lannan's second start against Houston came in May of 2008, again in the right-handed pull-hitters' paradise known as Minute Maid Park, where Lannan was able to hold the Astros to just 1 run on 7 hits in 6.0 IP.

Lannan vs The Astros...

Lance Berkman - 2 for 4, .500 AVG, 1 RBI, 2 BB

Carlos Lee - 2 for 6, .333 AVG, 1 HR, 2 RBI's.

Hunter Pence - 2 for 5, .400 AVG, 1 RBI.

Miguel Tejada - 1 for 3, .333 AVG.

Brian Moehler returns from the DL for tonight's outing, which will be his first since he was lifted from an April 13th start in the third inning with a sprained right knee after having allowed 7 hits and 5 ER in 2.1 IP. In his first '09 start against the Chicago Cubs, Moehler was knocked around as well, allowing 8 hits and 7 ER in just 1.2 IP, so he enters the game tonight with an (0-2) record, a 27.00 ERA and a .600 BAA...

In 5 starts and 7 relief appearances against the Expos/Nationals in his 13 MLB seasons, Moehler's (2-4) with 1 BS and 1 hold, having given up 54 hits and 26 ER in 39.1 IP in which he's walked 19, K'd 24 and posted a 5.95 ERA, a 1.86 WHIP and a .331 BAA.

The Nationals vs Moehler...

Ronnie Belliard - 2 for 5, .400 AVG.

Adam Dunn - 3 for 17, .176 AVG, 2 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI's, 3 BB, 2 K's.

Cristian Guzman - 6 for 13, .462 AVG, 1 2B, 1 3B, 3 BB, 2 SB.

Nick Johnson - 3 for 13, .231 AVG, 1 2B, 1 HR, 5 RBI's.

Austin Kearns - 5 for 10, .500 AVG, 1 2B, 1 HR, 1 RBI.

Ryan Zimmerman - 3 for 6, .500 AVG.

Meet Mike McDougal...(Look, I Think Mr. Rizzo's Pointing To His Head Again...)

In a Chicago Tribune article by Mark Gonzales from April 22, 2009 entitled, "Chicago White Sox Say Farewell To Mike MacDougal", which announced that the Chicago White Sox had designated the 32-year-old veteran right-hander for assignment, White Sox' Manager Ozzie Guillen said the Sox believed that MacDougal had, "...one of the best arms in the game," but, as the Manager continued, "...you cannot keep believing in him when he doesn't give you any ammunition."

In announcing that the Washington Nationals had signed MacDougal Sunday afternoon, "Acting" DC GM Mike Rizzo told MLB.com's Bill Ladson, as quoted in Mr. Ladson's article entitled, "Nats sign reliever MacDougal", that he saw the right-handed reliever as:

"...a big power arm that has had questions throughout his career regarding his command," Rizzo said. "We signed him to Triple-A to get his feet on the ground. We'll see what we have. He'll be in Triple-A until he proves that he's better than what we have up here in the big leagues."

STRASBURG FILES...

Apparently the Former DC GM isn't the only source of the rumors that the Washington Nationals intend to draft SDSU righty Stephen Strasburg with the No. 1 pick in this June's MLB Amateur Draft, because SI.com's Jon Heyman writes that a "Nationals source" confirmed what the Former DC GM blabbed to a LA radio station recently, which is, simply put, in the words of Mr. Heyman's source, "There's no chance I know of..." the Nationals selecting anyone else No. 1 overall. Asked by phone by Mr. Heyman if he'd officially confirm the Nationals' intentions, "Acting" DC GM Mike Rizzo would only allow that, "It's fair to say, going into it, he's the No.1 player on the board...As of now, he's our top guy."

Belliard Scratched...

In a postscript to Elijah Dukes' benching and fine a few weeks back, Washington Post writer Chico Harlan, in an article entitled, "Club in Position to Have Twice the Impact in Draft", writes in a note he's titled, "Belliard Caught Napping", that the Nationals' veteran infielder Ronnie Belliard was scratched from Saturday's game against St. Louis, "...after showing up late to work." (ed. note - "No mention of a fine, though.")...

(ed. note - "...Washington Times' writer Mark Zuckerman's article, 'Belliard fined, benched after reporting late', confirms the fine in the title, however.")

Rules are in fact rules it seems...

Through The System...

The Syracuse Chiefs were in Fort Mill, South Carolina's Knights Stadium to face the Charlotte, North Carolina-based Charlotte Knights on Sunday. Marco Estrada started for Syracuse, lasting just 4.0 innings over which he surrendered 9 hits and 4 ER. Gary Glover came on for Estrada and allowed two more runs, and Jason Bergmann threw 1.2 scoreless leaving the game tied at 7-7 after seven and a half, when Jesus "Everyday" Colome replaced Bergmann in the eighth...

Colome, walked the first batter he saw, gave up a single and then threw away a "force" attempt as it's described in the Game Recap that somehow allows all three runners to score...? Where'd he throw it exactly?...

The Harrisburg Senators were at home in Metro Bank Park to take on the Reading Phillies on Sunday. Joel "The Other" Guzman was 3 for 5 with 2 doubles and 3 RBI's, Leonard Davis started in left and went 2 for 2 with a double, and Justin Jones started on the mound, giving up 4 ER on 8 hits in 5.0 IP in an 8-4 loss to the L'il Phillies, which dropped the Senators to 4-17 overall in '09.

The Potomac Nationals and Hagerstown were rained out.

Further Reading:

• Yesterday's Federal Baseball.com GameThread for the canceled game has more information on John Lannan's last few starts.

• Houston just took 2 of 3 from the Atlanta Braves this weekend in Turner Field. To catch up with NL Central's last place team, the 11-14 Astros, check out the SBN's Astros blog:

The Crawfish Boxes

MLB.com's Bill Ladson responds to a question in the most recent edition of his, "Inbox: Is Dukes the Nats' best player?", about possible alternatives in the DC system to struggling starter Daniel Cabrera by offering up the Syracuse Chiefs' Craig Stammen as an option, "...the Nationals are keeping a close eye on."

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

Who's Watching The Nationals?

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