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Friday, September 30, 2005


Nationals: Last Three Games, Currently tied for 3rd and worst they can do is end up exactly at .500; Stanton Traded to Red Sox

The Nationals take on the NL East and WC 2nd ranked team, the Phillies. The Braves have won the NL East, but the Phillies are just two games back from the Astros for the WC card playoff spot. The Astros face the 77-81 Cubs, specifically RHP Carlos Zambrano (14-6, 3.33), RHP Jerome Williams (6-9, 4.28), and RHP Greg Maddux (13-14, 4.18). Pettitte (17-6, 2.42), Clemens (12-8, 1.89), and Roy Oswalt (19-12, 2.86) pitch for the Astros. It is possible, barely, that the Astros will lose three in a row, and the Phillies will win three in a row. The Astros are coming off of a 2-3 loss to the Cubs, but that is just a 1 game losing skid. The Phillies are coming off of a losing series with the Mets (who won 2 of three), but left the Mets series winning the last game 16-6. The Phillies will have to win three games against a team that has scored 26 runs in the last 3 games, and limited their opposition to just 8 runs. On the other hand, the Nationals sweep of the Marlins, where they scored those 26 runs, came immediately after being swept by the Mets and scoring nine runs, against the Mets 16. Even if the Phillies are swept, they will retain the number two spot in the division, and the best that the Nationals can do is remain in third place.

RHP Livan Hernandez (15-6, 3.95) tries for his 16th win of the year and faces RHP Cory Lidle (12-11, 4.65) tonight. "[Lidle]'s 3-1 with a 3.97 ERA in four September starts" (from Lidle's scouting report). Lidle has started three games against the Nationals, lasting a total of 19 innings, and giving up 19 hits, 6 runs, 4 walks and striking out 13. Hernandez is 1-1, 6.39 ERA in 3 starts against the Phillies (12.2 IP, 13 H, 9 R, 1 HR, 1 HBP, 4 BB, 7 SO). 20% chance of rain tonight, high will be 72F and low of 53F. At 6pm the temp should be around 69F and at 9pm, the temp should feel like 62F (weather.com). (See below, someone else might start for the Phillies tonight).

RHP John Patterson (9-6, 2.90) goes for his 10th win of the year and must contend with RHP Brett Myers (12-8, 3.71) on Saturday night (time change, game now starting at 4:10 PM). Myers is 0-2 in September after 5 starts, lasting 29.1 innings and giving up 16 earned runs. Myers has pitched 3 games against the Nationals, and has yet to win. He pitched a total of 19.2 innings in those 3 games, giving up 17 hits, 6 ER, 4 HR, 6 walks and striking out 19. Patterson is 1-2 with an ERA of 4.72 in September after 5 starts. He has pitched a total of 34.1 innings during those 5 games, throwing 556 pitches. Patterson is 1-0, with an era of 0.84 against the Phillies, after starting 3 games against them (lasting a total of 21.1 innings, giving up 13 runs, 2 ER, 1 HR, 7 BB and striking out 22).

RHP Hector Carrasco (5-3, 1.73) closes out the Nationals year with his 5th straight start. Carrasco lasted just 4 innings in his first start of the year, and gave up 2 runs in that game. Those have been the only runs he has given up as a starter, though. Carrasco has pitched a total of 21.2 innings in his 4 starts, giving up just 12 hits, 2 ER, 1 HR, 11 walks, while striking out 23 batters. Despite his great starts, Carrasco has just 1 win from his stint as a starter this year. And that win came in his most recent start. Carrasco has not been allowed to go beyond 6 innings in a start, but maybe he will be allowed to test the waters of later innings as this is the last game for the Nationals in 2005. Unfortunately, the Nationals do not know who will start for the Phillies in this last game (Phillies.com doesn't know either).

ESPN believes that Hernandez will face someone named "Eude Brito" (1-2, 3.68) tonight, and that Carrasco will face Jon Lieber (16-13) on Sunday.

CBS.com believes that Hernandez will face Lidle tonight.

FoxSports.com believes that Hernandez will face Lidle tonight, and that Lieber will pitch for the Phillies on Sunday.

SI.com believes that Hernandez will face Brito tonight. Oh, and apparently the Nationals have traded Mike Stanton to the Red Sox. "The Red Sox sent minor league right-handers Rhys Taylor and Yader Peralta to the Nationals."

Washington Post's article about the trade. Washington Times' article about the trade.

20-year old 6'3" 154 pound Taylor played for the Red Sox rookie level minor league team, starting 5 games, and appearing in relief in 6 games. He went 2-2 with an era of 1.49 in 36.1 games started, giving up 6 runs.

I cannot find any information for Peralta on the minor league website (where I got Taylor's information).

ESPN.com's stat pack for tonight. CBS.com's preview for tonight's game. FOXSports.com's preview for the series. Washington Post.com's article for tonight's game (believe Lidle will start).

Information about possible owners: "Nats Ownership Might be Corporate"
Boswell: Beware the Buyer

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