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Santana can't beat the Nationals

(Reminder: Chat at 2 p.m.)

That's what history tells us, right? Johan Santana has faced the Washington Nationals once in his illustrious career. That was June 9, 2007. The opposing pitcher: Levale Speigner, a right-hander the Nationals selected in the Rule 5 draft from, of all teams, the Twins, for whom Santana was pitching at this point last year.

Levale Speigner is currently pitching for Class AA Harrisburg of the Eastern League, a long way from opposing Johan Santana. If you recall, he wasn't even supposed to be in the Nationals' rotation, but this was at that point when they had Micah Bowie and Mike Bacsik and Jason Simontacchi and ... my goodness, how did they even win once?

On that June 9 night, Justin Morneau homered off Speigner to lead off the second. But in the top of the third, Nook Logan -- remember him? -- reached on an error by Twins third baseman Nick Punto. Logan then stole second. Felipe Lopez struck out, but Cristian Guzman -- who terrorized his former team that weekend -- singled him to third.

That brought up Ryan Zimmerman with runners in scoring position. Last night, in the ninth, Zimmerman finished off the Braves with two outs and runners on second and third by lining a hard double over Jeff Francoeur's outstretched glove in right. But Zimmerman used to pull the ball, didn't he? He hasn't done that hardly at all this year.

He did against Santana. He drilled a 1-2 pitch over the left field wall for a three-run homer that made it 3-1 Nationals.

Somehow, Speigner made it stand up. He pitched six innings and gave up all of two hits. He walked only one and struck out three. All this lowered his ERA to 7.79 (which might give you an idea of why he's not around).

From there, Ray King, Jesus Colome, Jon Rauch and Chad Cordero (though he allowed two hits in the ninth) nailed it down.

Ah, the memories. But let's take this one step further.

Match the pitcher ...
A. Tim Redding
B. Johan Santana

... with his stats
1. 2-2, 3.25 ERA, 5 HR allowed
2. 3-1, 3.27 ERA, 3 HR allowed

See you out there tonight. Man, it should be beautiful.

By Barry Svrluga  |  April 23, 2008; 1:13 PM ET
 
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