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Nationals Notebook

Patterson Replaces Day In Rotation

By Barry Svrluga
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, April 14, 2005; Page D11

ATLANTA, April 13 -- Washington Nationals right-hander John Patterson will replace Zach Day in the rotation, moving Day to the bullpen until he is needed to start April 20 against Atlanta.

The Atlanta Braves thumped Day for seven runs in his second start of the season on Monday, and his ERA is now 9.00. Patterson, who allowed two runs in seven innings in his first start Sunday at Florida, will take Day's spot Saturday against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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"Day has been a little inconsistent," Manager Frank Robinson said after Wednesday's 11-4 victory over Atlanta. "We've got to get him comfortable."

Scouts have long raved about Patterson's repertoire, but he has lacked consistency. Now, he'll get a chance to show it.

"This is what I wanted," Patterson said. "I'm excited about it. I plan on just having fun."

A Moveable Feast

Thursday's home opener was originally scheduled for Friday, but Commissioner Bud Selig wanted to attend both the first game in Washington and Jackie Robinson Day festivities in Los Angeles, which are always on April 15. So the Nationals rescheduled. The trickle-down effect: The game had to be at night, because the Diamondbacks are traveling from Phoenix, and teams are not allowed to play afternoon games the day after traveling west to east, according to MLB vice president Katy Feeney. . . .

Thursday's starter for Arizona is former Montreal Expo Javier Vazquez, once the franchise's prime prospect. Montreal traded him to the Yankees for first baseman Nick Johnson, outfielder Juan Rivera and lefty Randy Choate, and he was dealt to the Diamondbacks in the Randy Johnson deal. He has allowed 12 runs in seven innings in his two starts. "I expect him to give a real, Javy Vazquez, 100 percent effort," Robinson said, "and that can be pretty tough."

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