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NATIONALS REPORT

Friday, August 29, 2008

The Next Three

TimeOpponentTV
Tonight7:35vs. BravesMASN, WDCA-20
Tomorrow7:10vs. BravesMASN
Sunday1:35vs. BravesMASN

ALL GAMES ON WWWT (107.7 FM, 1500 AM)

PERSONNEL DEPT.

The Nationals' two youngest pitchers, 23-year-old John Lannan and 22-year-old Collin Balester, are both entering uncharted territory. Before this season, Lannan hadn't thrown more than 138 innings in a season; Balester, 125. As both soar past those totals for 2008, the Nationals will take extra precaution with both in September, rarely having either throw deep into games. When the rosters expand Sept. 1, the Nationals' bullpen will increase, and Manager Manny Acta said yesterday that the extra arms will help carry extra weight. "We really don't need to stretch them out so much, and that will give the other guys a chance to get some work," Acta said.

QUOTABLE

" The last week or so I've been driving the ball better. It's finally getting back to where it was before."

Nationals 3B Ryan Zimmerman, who on Wednesday hit his first home run since May 17

BY THE NUMBERS

.350

Final season batting average for 18-year-old SS Esmailyn González, a Nationals prospect who won the rookie-level Gulf Coast League batting title

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