Craig Stammen Ready for Sox...
Nats rookie Craig Stammen is coming off the best outing of his career--a 1-0 shutout against the New York Yankees.
He, in fact, will go down in the record books as the first pitcher recording a shutout in the new Yankee Stadium.
He was also able to do it in front of some family and friends, which made it even more special.
Wednesday night Stammen will get another test when he tackles the red hot Red Sox lineup at Nationals Park. He is ready to take the mound in front of a sellout crowd and continue the stretch of solid starts by the Nats starting five.
Before Tuesday's opener against the Red Sox I asked Nats skipper Manny Acta how you can contain Boston outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury. He replied, "Keep him off base."
Historically the Red Sox have not been known for their speed. Coming into the series, Ellsbury had 29 of the Red Sox 54 stolen bases and last night he added to that with his 30th stolen bag of the year. He's like having a second leadoff hitter at the bottom of the order, and he's a sparkplug the Nats need to fizzle out.
Matt Chico on the Mend...
Nats southpaw Matt Chico is in town this week before heading to Harrisburg to continue his rehab assignment.
He will throw a bullpen session on Wednesday with pitching coach Steve McCatty. Matt is familiar with McCatty and was glad to see him here on Tuesday. Matt is coming off Tommy John surgery which typically takes at least 12 months to recover from. So far he is ahead of schedule. If his progress continues, he could be pitching with the big league club in September.
Manny Acta has told us his plan is to shut down some of the young pitchers and get some starting help elsewhere. Collin Balester, Garrett Mock and Matt Chico are prime candidates to help out in that category.