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[August 20th] -- I keep waiting for Tim Redding to return to form and I figured doing it in Houston made the most sense. Of course, the "form" I'm talking about is the one that allowed him to craft a 5.32 ERA in 89 innings in Columbus earlier this year, the form that saw him get blown off the major league mound this spring in Viera (11.42 ERA).

I keep waiting, and it's just not happening. Redding returned to his old haunts on Monday night and threw seven shutout innings, allowing six hits while striking out two. He lowered his ERA to 2.53. He's like an old Timex watch; he takes a licking and keeps on ticking. In ten starts since joining the Nationals, Redding has allowed more than three runs just once and has given up one run or less four times.

So check out these efforts from our starters: Redding: 2.53 in 10 starts -- Joel Hanrahan: 2.95 in 4 starts -- Shawn Hill: 2.43 in 10 starts -- John Lannan: 3.94 in 5 starts. It's gotten to the point that you expect these guys to throw seven innings and give up a couple of runs each time out. I'm not suggesting that they are going to continue their good fortune, and that these four are going to anchor the rotation, but man, I'm going to enjoy watching them while it lasts.

Wily Mo certainly has looked good in his first three games with the Nationals, but don't expect him to continue hitting this well. He is a streaky guy and is just as likely to strike out ten times in a row as he is to hit three homers in a game. That said, I see why Jim Bowden loves him so much .... Chris Marrero continues to struggle; he went 0-3 and dropped his average with the P-Nats to .257 .... On the bright side, Ross Detweiler bounced back from his abysmal outing last week. The Nats' top pick pitched 5 scoreless innings, striking out 3 .... Justin Maxwell, who saw his average dip to .217 with the P-Nats after hurting himself while sneezing hit his 9th homer on Monday and is now batting .253.

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