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The Nationals vs. today's starter: RHP Joe Blanton

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Not to discredit any of the right-hander’s body of work, but with the Nationals facing a three-game series with the Phillies, they have to feel a little lucky to have drawn Joe Blanton as the starting pitcher in the first game.

That’s just the way it goes when the other four pitchers in a team’s rotation are Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels and Roy Oswalt — though the Nationals won’t be spared from facing both Halladay and Lee in the second and third games of the series.

That said, tonight is the night the Nationals should try and capitalize on, especially with Livan Hernandez, who is 11-10 with a 3.60 ERA in his career against the Phillies, on the mound. Several Phillies have hit Hernandez well in their careers, (Placido Polanco, .367, Shane Victorino, 333) but he’s been dominant over a few key Phillies as well, (Jimmy Rollins, .213, Ryan Howard, .167 — though both have hit two home runs off Hernandez each).

Here are the Nationals numbers vs. Blanton. Please note that this lineup is merely a projection, not the official lineup for today’s game.

Ian Desmond: .429 in 14 at-bats, 2 doubles, 1 HR, 6 RBI, .400 OBP, .786 SLG, 1 K

Rick Ankiel: 0-for-5 in 5 at-bats, 1 BB, .286 OBP, 1 K

Jayson Werth: 1-for-2 in 2 at-bats, 1 BB, .667 OBP, .500 SLG

Adam LaRoche: .250 in 8 at-bats, 1 BB, .333 OBP, 4 K

Michael Morse: .333 in 9 at-bats, 1 HR, 3 RBI, .333 OBP, .667 SLG, 3 K

Wilson Ramos: 0-for-2 in 2 at-bats, 1 BB, .333 OBP, 1 K

Danny Espinosa: .167 (1-for-6) in 6 at-bats, .167 OBP, .167 SLG, 3 K

Alex Cora: 0-for-6 in 6 at-bats

Livan Hernandez: .400 in 5 at-bats, 1 double, .400 OBP, .600 SLG

Others:

Jerry Hairston Jr.: .667 in 3 at-bats (2-for-3), .667 OBP, .667 SLG

Ivan Rodriguez: .353 in 17 at-bats, 2 RBI, 1 BB, .389 OBP, .353 SLG, 2 K

Matt Stairs: .167 in 18 at-bats, 1 RBI, .167 OBP, .167 SLG, 3 K

Laynce Nix: .333 in 3 at-bats, .333 OBP, .333 SLG, 1 K

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About the Author
Amanda Comak

Amanda Comak

Amanda Comak covers the Washington Nationals and comes to The Washington Times from the Cape Cod Times and after stints with MLB.com and the Amsterdam (N.Y.) Recorder. A Massachusetts native and 2008 graduate of Boston University, Amanda can be reached at acomak@washingtontimes.com and you can follow her on Twitter @acomak.

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