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GameThread: Washington Nationals At Pittsburgh Pirates - Game 104 Of 162.

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Washington Nationals
@ Pittsburgh Pirates

Saturday, Aug 1, 2009, 7:05 PM EDT
PNC Park

Craig Stammen vs Virgil Vasquez

Partly cloudy. Winds blowing in from right field at 5-10 m.p.h. Game time temperature around 80.

?'s For The DC Faithful...

• SSSSSSSUPER DUKESSSSSSSS!!! Are You Happy He's Back!!!

• Where Does Dukes Start? The Stronger Arm In Right? Or Keep Hammer Comfortable?

• You Just Had To Know Milledge Would Win That Game Last Night, Right?

• With A Few Hours To Think About It, Are You Happy With The Return On Nick Johnson?

• Do You Think Rizzo Should Be The Full-Time GM?

DC Starting Lineup:

  1. Nyjer Morgan - CF
  2. The Guzzzz - SS
  4. The Big 1B - 1B
  5. The Hammer - LF
  7. The Bard - C
  8. Alberto "The General" Gonzalez - 2B
  9. Stammen - SP


Complete Coverage >


Today's Starting Pitchers Are Going To Stare At You Now...

Virgil Vasquez

#50 / Pitcher / Pittsburgh Pirates





Jun 07, 1982

'09 Stats - (1-5, 6.21 ERA), 6 GS, 29.0 IP, 37 H, 20 ER, 4 HR's, 13 BB, 19 K's, 1.72 WHIP, ERA+ = 65, 4.0 BB/9, 5.9 K/9, 1.46 K/BB, .319 BAA.

vs DC - N/A

Origin Story - Detroit Tigers' 7th Round pick, 190th overall in 2003. 10/28/08 - Selected off waivers by the Boston Red Sox from Detroit. 1/9/09 - Selected off waivers by the San Diego Padres from Boston. 1/27/09 - Selected off waivers by the Pittsburgh Pirates from Boston.

Craig Stammen

#35 / Pitcher / Washington Nationals





Mar 09, 1984

'09 Stats - (3-5, 4.46 ERA), 13 GS, 1 CG, 78.2 IP, 81 H, 42 R, 39 ER, 8 HR, 15 BB, 35 K's, 1.22 WHIP, ERA+ = 96, 1.7 BB/9, 4.0 K/9, 2.33 K/BB, .266 BAA.

vs PIT - (0-0, 5.68 ERA), 1 GS, 6.1 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 1 HR, 1 BB, 3 K's, 0.79 WHIP, .174 BAA.

Origin Story - Washington Nationals' 12th Round pick, 354th overall in 2005.

• Pirates' right-hander Virgil Vasquez beat the Kansas City Royals in his debut with Pittsburgh on June 26, but since then he's dropped 5 straight starts in which the Pirates have been outscored 24-4. The 27-year-old right-hander out of Santa Barbara, California was (5-2) with a 4.18 ERA in 14 GS and 79.2 IP with the Pirates' Triple-A affiliate in Indianapolis before being called up to Pittsburgh...Craig Stammen started 2009 with Triple-A Syracuse, posting a (4-2) record with a 1.80 ERA in 7 GS and 40.0 IP before he was called up to DC and debuted with the Nationals on May 21st in Nationals Park against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Stammen made 5 starts before recording his first "W", and he had to hold the NY Yankees scoreless over 7.0 IP in order to finally win one. In 5 July outings, Stammen was (2-2) with 1 CG, a 3.18 ERA and 13 K's in 34.0 IP?

• ESPN The Magazine has a feature on DC Manager Jim Riggleman this week. Written by Tim Kurkjian, the column entitled, "Disaster Relief", wherein Mr. Riggleman explains his motivation in taking the job as the Manager of the worst team in baseball:

"'Tony LaRussa said something to me that I'll never forget,' he says. 'He was managing the A's when they weren't very good and he said, "Sometimes we have to measure our victories by something other than the final score." I will never accept losing, but if you're involved in progress even while you're losing, then you're making progress.'"

(ed. note - "I'm still wrestling with that last sentence.")


After 20 games and 68 at bats with Triple-A Syracuse, Elijah Dukes is back. Dukes hit .279 with the Chiefs, collecting 8 doubles, 3 HR's, 10 RBI's and 5 SB while putting up a .388 OBP, .529 SLG and a .917 OPS. In 23 games in June before Dukes was sent down, the Nationals' 25-year-old outfielder hit just .198 6 hits in 81 at bats, a .253 OBP, .333 SLG, .586 OPS, 5 doubles, 2 HR's and 6 RBI's. The plan, according to's Bill Ladson's article entitled, "Trades spur callups, for Dukes, Sosa", is to have Dukes:

"...get the bulk of the playing time in right field, while Josh Willingham will switch over to left, his natural position. Adam Dunn...will now play first base."

• Keith Law On Aaron Thompson, from Mr. Law's article entitled, "Healthy Johnson gives Marlins what they need":

"Thompson has good command of three pitches but nothing is better than average, and he has no history of missing bats. He does have some sink on his fastball and generates groundballs, so if he can improve his control slightly he could be a fifth or even a fringy fourth starter in the majors..."

That does, however, echo what "Acting" DC GM Mike Rizzo told Washington Post writer Chico Harlan, in an article entitled, "In Two Moves, Nats Deal Johnson, Beimel", where Mr. Rizzo explains that each of his scouts reported, after watching the 22-year-old left-handed starter, that they "...envisioned him as a future middle-of-the-rotation starter."

Check Out The SB Nation's Pittsburgh Pirates Blog:

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