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Game 152: Brewers at Nats

Sep 23, 2012, 3:00 PM EDT

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Chien-Ming Wang tries to lead the Nationals over the Brewers today.

It's been three months since Chien-Ming Wang last started a big-league game for the Nationals, but today the veteran right-hander will be handed the ball by Davey Johnson for a pennant race game in late September. If ever the Nats could hope to get something out of their $7 million investment over the last three seasons out of Wang, today would be the day.

Wang will face a potent Brewers lineup, but one that was silenced yesterday by Gio Gonzalez. Johnson feels like a right-hander should have an even better chance of success against the right-handed-heavy Milwaukee club, so Wang was his choice for this start.

Fellow righty Yovani Gallardo gets the nod for the Brewers against a Nationals team looking to lower its magic number for the NL East title to either 5 or 4.

Plenty of updates to come…

MILWAUKEE BREWERS at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 1:35 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN2, Ch. 50, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 184
Weather: Sunny, 68 degrees, Wind 10 mph LF to RF

NATIONALS (92-59)
RF Jayson Werth
CF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche

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101 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. ehay2k - Sep 23, 2012 at 3:08 PM

    Curious to see the lineup. Werth, Zimm, ALR and Morse all got some rest yesterday thanks to the outburst of offense. What are the odds that the Shark start in left today against a eighty? Morse looked to be wincing after every contact swing.

  2. A DC Wonk - Sep 23, 2012 at 3:12 PM

    Gallardo has been undefeated in over two months.He's going against Wang.Can we get a reverse lock here? Please?!I'm going with my 17 yo daughter — I want her to leave the stadium with a big smile on her face!

  3. Manassas Nats' Fan - Sep 23, 2012 at 3:27 PM

    Go Wang

  4. Manassas Nats' Fan - Sep 23, 2012 at 3:27 PM

    Go Wang Go Wang Gone. GYFNG

  5. peric - Sep 23, 2012 at 3:35 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. peric - Sep 23, 2012 at 3:36 PM

    This is a case where Davey must prove that it was worth the expense to keep Wang for an additional year. They won't make that mistake next season. As far as Wang making the playoff roster … Zach Duke deserves it more.This may be as much about ego as anything else.

  7. peric - Sep 23, 2012 at 3:37 PM

    Wonder what happened to all those Taiwanese who were posting for a while? Maybe they all became Ori-hoe fans.

  8. NCNatsie - Sep 23, 2012 at 3:40 PM

    If Wang does well today, he'll probably be first in line for a start after the clinch. If he does well in that one, it will complicate Davey's postseason roster-making, not to mention Rizzo's winter.But these are good problems, right?GYFNG.

  9. pk24 - Sep 23, 2012 at 3:47 PM

    Just heading to the game. I'm hoping that CMW will pitch OK, but am expecting to see a lot of the bullpen guys…Go Nats!

  10. Knoxville Nat - Sep 23, 2012 at 3:55 PM

    Peric, not looking for a debate but I don't follow you when you say "Davey must prove that it was worth the expense". Wouldn't the burden of proof be more on Rizzo or Wang himself?

  11. Feel Wood - Sep 23, 2012 at 3:56 PM

    Yesterday's headline: Milestone Man.Today's headline: Millstone Man.

  12. Doc - Sep 23, 2012 at 3:58 PM

    A good performance by Wang to-day, might give Davey some slight pause for Davey's post-season roster. But good or bad performance to-day, I doubt that future FA Wang is of any significant Rizzo consideration for next season's roster. He once had some future expectations with this team, but that time started to disappear last April with the current starting rotation and bullpen.I see CMW pitching in Japan next season.

  13. JaneB - Sep 23, 2012 at 3:59 PM

    Just walked over to the stadium to give away two of our seats we couldn't use today. If I knew how to give them to an Imaginaty Friend here, I would have. LOTS of Wang shirts on people buying tickets. Yovani has to lose sometime. I think today's the day.Morse maybe looked to be wincing yesterday…I couldn't see that closely from where we were…but his last line drive had real whack to it. It made me feel even better about him. And it goes without saying: go Nats! Go Nats Bats! Pitch the great game of a lifetime, CMW! GYFNG!

  14. Donald - Sep 23, 2012 at 3:59 PM

    Does anyone know how the playoff schedule works? It looks like the wildcard playoff game is on Friday. I think the 2 vs. 3 seeds start their series on Saturday and the 1 seed vs. the wildcard winner start on Sunday. Is that right? If so, then getting the #1 seed might be worth a fair amount to the Nats in that they start Gio in his natural spot in the rotation. If they start on Saturday, presumably against SF, then I'm not sure that Gio gets 2 more starts. It will be interesting to see how that plays into his Cy Young chances if he and Dickey are tied with wins.

  15. Theophilus T. S. - Sep 23, 2012 at 4:01 PM

    What's wrong w/ offering Wang a minor-league contract next year? Let him play Lannan's position — call-up in case of emergency. You're pretty sure Jackson and Lannan aren't coming back, don't know who they're gonna snag in free agency, don't know if there's anyone else in the minor league system that will be ready in 2013. So what's the risk in giving Wang a chance? (Assuming that this and maybe the next start go okay.)

  16. NatsLady - Sep 23, 2012 at 4:15 PM

    CMW is gettting Suzuki and the first-string lineup. I think Davey is not conceding this game. Off to the Metro, and not sad that it's the last regular-season game I'll be at. Have to get my yearbook. GO NATS!!! Chien-Ming, show 'em what ya got. I want peric to totally HATE ON ME tonight, LOL!!!!

  17. SonnyG10 - Sep 23, 2012 at 4:19 PM

    Go Nats!!! Go CMW!!! Take magic number to 5 or 4 today.

  18. A DC Wonk - Sep 23, 2012 at 4:24 PM

    This may be as much about ego as anything else. Wha?! Oh puleeze. You think Davey would think: "gee, Duke give us the better chance to win, but I'd rather prove I'm right about something, so I'll start Wang anyway" ?!?!!First off — even if Davey _was_ thinking "me-first" (which I don't believe in a minute), he'd wanting to win this game with _whoever_ he starts, because then people will think: "that was great that he started x and got the win".Secondly — even if Davey _was_ thinking "me-first" (which I don't believe in a minute) — the biggest boost to Davey's ego would be to guide the '12 Nats to the best record in baseball and to win the WS.I don't know why Davey is starting Wang today — I don't know the full processes going on in his head — he probably liked what he saw last time out, and likes Wang's experience. But I'm sure that — bottom line — he's starting Wang because he thinks it's the best option for the Nats today.

  19. The Retired Journalist - Sep 23, 2012 at 4:41 PM

    I'll join the chorus hoping for the magic of a reverse lock. I do have some experience at this, having been in attendance at the Hubert H. Humprhrey Metrodome in Minneapolis on June 9, 2007. On that date, the Nationals sent Levale Speigner out as the starting pitcher to duel then-Twin Johan Santana. Final score, Nats 3, Twins 1, with Speigner going six innings while giving up only two hits and one run.But nonetheless I shall remember Mark Twain's advice that "a pessimist can only be pleasantly surprised" as I await the first pitch.

  20. NatsJack in Florida - Sep 23, 2012 at 4:41 PM

    Wonk…. don't get worked up over the "over the top" drama. Remember, this is the "Koye Hill is the fall back catcher, Rendon will get a September call up, Bryce needs to go on the 15 day DL so he can visit Mommy and Daddy, Werth will be the back up catcher by 2014, Zim will be at first base next year, Ryan Perry will be the starter today instead of Wang, and on and on and on.

  21. RPrecupjr - Sep 23, 2012 at 4:44 PM

    At the game with the wife and daughter. She asked if any of my imaginary friends would be here today. So far I've seen that JaneB and Wonk are here, cool. We're in Sec 108, Row MM, right in the middle. What a beautiful day!!

  22. Kirbs - Sep 23, 2012 at 4:44 PM

    Im calling right now stammen will throw more innings then wang. I really hope im wrong. But lets hit the ball boys!!!!!!!

  23. NCNatsie - Sep 23, 2012 at 4:46 PM

    Good point TRJ, but then again, another wise man once said, "No one has enough information to be a pessimist."Okay, it was my friend Bill who said that, but I think it's pretty thoughty even so.

  24. RPrecupjr - Sep 23, 2012 at 4:49 PM

    Ok, so apparently on this device I'm Rprecupjr, but usually I'm Ron in Reston, so come by and say hi :)

  25. Manassas Nats' Fan - Sep 23, 2012 at 4:56 PM

    GYFNG I have been Maloox free 12 days

  26. Manassas Nats' Fan - Sep 23, 2012 at 5:12 PM

    Hope Brewers dont start as fast as Bengals

  27. Sam - Sep 23, 2012 at 5:26 PM

    Marvin Hudson is at first base again. This doesn't bode well for the Nationals.

  28. The Retired Journalist - Sep 23, 2012 at 5:30 PM

    MNF; Minnesota Twins and Detroit Tigers are scoreless in the second inning. What other "Bengals" are you talking about?

  29. Joe Seamhead - Sep 23, 2012 at 5:48 PM

    Good start for CMW, nothing but ground balls, everything close to the zone.

  30. Manassas Nats' Fan - Sep 23, 2012 at 5:48 PM

    Harper's threat to throw Weeks out at third saved a run.

  31. Manassas Nats' Fan - Sep 23, 2012 at 5:49 PM

    Sam i.meant to mention my eye is on Hudson

  32. djinFl. - Sep 23, 2012 at 6:05 PM

    If Wang keeps this up, people might start to think Davey knows what the heck he is doing.

  33. A DC Wonk - Sep 23, 2012 at 6:09 PM

    At game in section 404 with daughter and another teenager girl. They're having fun (as am I). Wang looked great in second inning. LaRoche just hit a double. Weather is great!!

  34. Sam - Sep 23, 2012 at 6:23 PM

    Wow. Make up call by Hudson a week later.

  35. Manassas Nats' Fan - Sep 23, 2012 at 6:23 PM

    Marvin Hudson with a make up call

  36. Manassas Nats' Fan - Sep 23, 2012 at 6:27 PM

    Hudson still in the Hall of Shame

  37. A DC Wonk - Sep 23, 2012 at 6:28 PM

    You know, it's really useful to have four gold glove (or near gold glove) quality infielders when a sinker ball pitcher is going. After three, still no fly ball outs against Wang.

  38. Another_Sam - Sep 23, 2012 at 6:28 PM

    NatsJack – very nice chatting with you and Charlie while watching a couple of innings yesterday. Great to see you again. See you next time.

  39. Joe Seamhead - Sep 23, 2012 at 6:30 PM

    You are kidding me! CMW!

  40. NatsJack in Florida - Sep 23, 2012 at 6:31 PM

    Sorry I missed all you that are there today but had to fly home this morning and ger ready for work this week. Sure did love seeing the clinch and Gio's 20th in person and catching up with the ones that that I did.Sitting here in Winter Park in my man cave with the Nats game, the Deadskins, the Braves/Phillies game and the Bucs/Cowboys. Man this is great.

  41. djinFl. - Sep 23, 2012 at 6:33 PM

    Wang knows what he has to do to sit with the rest of our starters. Hit as well as you pitch.

  42. ehay2k - Sep 23, 2012 at 6:35 PM

    Lol – Wang acted like he wasn't sure taking two bases was allowed. FP said "he turned his left turn blinker on…" Classic FP.

  43. Manassas Nats' Fan - Sep 23, 2012 at 6:38 PM

    Marvin hufson wrong afgain replay clearly showed Harper safe.

  44. Joe Seamhead - Sep 23, 2012 at 6:38 PM

    TRASHED AGAIN BY HUDSON!

  45. Joe Seamhead - Sep 23, 2012 at 6:40 PM

    I don't know if Hudson sucks or if he's just flat out on the take.

  46. NatsJack in Florida - Sep 23, 2012 at 6:49 PM

    And tomorrow Hudson's behind the plate.Yep….It's always good to catch up with you and your brother, Sam. And Gator John says hello to both of you.

  47. Manassas Nats' Fan - Sep 23, 2012 at 6:52 PM

    I knew the key inning was 4th

  48. Joe Seamhead - Sep 23, 2012 at 6:52 PM

    Bad breaks for CMW.

  49. A DC Wonk - Sep 23, 2012 at 6:53 PM

    Before this inning started I said to my daughter: I hope he's not tired from running the bases. We'll be able to tell if guys start hitting flies. Sure enough….

  50. ehay2k - Sep 23, 2012 at 6:59 PM

    FP said "all those bats died heros." Feel free to quench your thirst!

  51. Manassas Nats' Fan - Sep 23, 2012 at 7:01 PM

    Mark please find out if indeed Hudson is as pathetic ss he appears

  52. Manassas Nats' Fan - Sep 23, 2012 at 7:04 PM

    LaRoche needs to foul off that pitch not take it

  53. Manassas Nats' Fan - Sep 23, 2012 at 7:05 PM

    3 Double plays mnow. lets get to work better

  54. Manassas Nats' Fan - Sep 23, 2012 at 7:15 PM

    Harper had he been safe might have been in field 4 minutes later. sun slightly moved.just a thought how much Hudson is involved

  55. Joe Seamhead - Sep 23, 2012 at 7:22 PM

    a very good point MNF.

  56. Joe Seamhead - Sep 23, 2012 at 7:32 PM

    Come on, boys! Two good AB's. Now, let's keep it going ,Suzuki!

  57. Manassas Nats' Fan - Sep 23, 2012 at 7:35 PM

    Arggg k not good . Travy bail him out.

  58. Swift Eagle - Sep 23, 2012 at 7:40 PM

    What an AB from Tracy!!

  59. Joe Seamhead - Sep 23, 2012 at 7:40 PM

    Great at bat by Tracy!

  60. Manassas Nats' Fan - Sep 23, 2012 at 7:40 PM

    Good job Tracy. Now Werth do the job

  61. Swift Eagle - Sep 23, 2012 at 7:41 PM

    If Davey were ever going to squeeze….this would be the time

  62. Swift Eagle - Sep 23, 2012 at 7:42 PM

    That works

  63. Manassas Nats' Fan - Sep 23, 2012 at 7:44 PM

    Good job Eerth

  64. Joe Seamhead - Sep 23, 2012 at 7:44 PM

    I'll take it! Two runs after the "Despinosa" start to the inning!

  65. Manassas Nats' Fan - Sep 23, 2012 at 8:10 PM

    Quit wasting opportunities

  66. Gonat - Sep 23, 2012 at 8:21 PM

    You are kidding me…

  67. Manassas Nats' Fan - Sep 23, 2012 at 8:22 PM

    How come we lose balls and they dont. Of course should have been out st second possibly double play.zinm started the whole mess guarding line.our hitters hit right at the guys and they field them,

  68. Swift Eagle - Sep 23, 2012 at 8:34 PM

    B/C the Nats have only hit 2 fly balls…Just bad luck today

  69. Gonat - Sep 23, 2012 at 8:36 PM

    Lombo now with 2 uglies in 2 innings.

  70. Swift Eagle - Sep 23, 2012 at 8:38 PM

    Lol…I actually think he lost that ground ball in the shadows…Actually, this looks like one of the worst sun/shade fields I've ever seen…How many different shadows are there in the infield? 20?We need to stick with night games

  71. Gonat - Sep 23, 2012 at 8:40 PM

    Bryce tries to field with the barehand and looks up. Come on guys, use your heads.

  72. djinFl. - Sep 23, 2012 at 8:42 PM

    You wanted him to pick it up with his head?

  73. Swift Eagle - Sep 23, 2012 at 8:43 PM

    Frustrating day for Bryce..Today is the first time I felt like his tough day at the plate effected him in the field…Funny how the ball always find you on days like this

  74. peric - Sep 23, 2012 at 8:47 PM

    I sure hope Luke of Nationals Prospects was just talking smack about Rendon playing 2nd base in the AFL because it sure looks to me like they may need him at third with Espinosa ensconced at second and Zim + a lot more range than LaRoche at first base. The Nats are close to having a great athletic infield. Desmond hitting .300+ with Espy following suit next season I imagine. The outfield is what it is. Werth is there until he gets too old either at the plate or in the field and then becomes an expensive Mark DeRosa. Harper will get better. And they've got some OF's on the way, some already on the 40-man.

  75. mick - Sep 23, 2012 at 8:49 PM

    Bottom line gang…. 4 1/2 up 10 to play, I like our chances

  76. mick - Sep 23, 2012 at 8:50 PM

    Brewers need this game more than Nats

  77. Gonat - Sep 23, 2012 at 8:50 PM

    Nats need baserunners to get something going.

  78. Gonat - Sep 23, 2012 at 8:51 PM

    mick, I'm not conceding anything today. Nats have rolled off 6 runs in an inning like its nothing. Need baserunners!

  79. peric - Sep 23, 2012 at 8:53 PM

    They definitely always do best when starters go deep into games. The bullpen isn't as good as I thought they would be at the beginning of the season … and a part of that is that it's been a long high pressure season for this bullpen … that's for sure. Even with a far better than major league average defense behind them. I don't think Lannan and CM Wang as starters work. Their games often look like throwbacks to those "halcyon" losing seasons that ended just last year.They need to hopefully get Sammy Solis and Matt Purke untracked. Nate Karns, Alex Meyer, and Ryan Perry to AAA and the majors as soon as possible.

  80. Gonat - Sep 23, 2012 at 8:55 PM

    Jim Henderson just sliced through the Nats heart of the order like a cardiologist.

  81. Exposremains - Sep 23, 2012 at 8:56 PM

    I sense a little playoff pressure from the players.

  82. Gonat - Sep 23, 2012 at 8:58 PM

    Peric – I believe Ryan Perry is out of options and if that's the case doubtful he will be back.

  83. peric - Sep 23, 2012 at 8:58 PM

    It just means they MUST get this final game behind JZimmnn to knock Atlanta back to 5. And the magic number minus another game. They absolutely must get the split. They are kind of sputtering offensively … seems like they are having issues with consistency there. Because Lannan starting in Philadelphia is almost a sure loss statistically.

  84. Manassas Nats' Fan - Sep 23, 2012 at 9:00 PM

    There fielding much cleaner than ours

  85. peric - Sep 23, 2012 at 9:02 PM

    Peric – I believe Ryan Perry is out of options and if that's the case doubtful he will be back.I don't think that's true. Otherwise they would not have decided to send him to the AFL this fall. One of the early choices.Remember, EJax might not be back. CMW not back. Soft-tossing over 4 betcha it pushes 5 before the season is out John Lannan? OUT. They are going to need a fifth starter if they bump Ross Detwiler (deservedly so) to the #4 slot. Meet Ryan Perry. And if he doesn't pan out? Nate Karns + Alex Meyer very, very close.Thankfully, no more soft-tossers who can't beat Livo out for the starters job.

  86. Gonat - Sep 23, 2012 at 9:03 PM

    peric said… Because Lannan starting in Philadelphia is almost a sure loss statistically. September 23, 2012 4:58 PM _____________________________Like those who said that Wang was an automatic "L" its nice to see your Legion of Doom approach.

  87. peric - Sep 23, 2012 at 9:04 PM

    There fielding much cleaner than oursSloppy game. Got a little cocky after yesterday afternoon didn't they? Hopefully, this cues their focus back up. Still 2 series against the always, really tough Phillies plus one against the defending world series champion Cardinals. Forget the rally caps get those focus like a laser beam caps on now!

  88. NatsJack in Florida - Sep 23, 2012 at 9:06 PM

    Perry = Colin Balester. Traded in the off season for somebody with options.

  89. Gonat - Sep 23, 2012 at 9:07 PM

    Peric – The Nats control Ryan Perry and I'm thinking they are sending him to the AFL to see what he has against future All Stars.Its a long-shot for Perry to make the Nats but still could come back in the bullpen or compete for #5 starter.

  90. Gonat - Sep 23, 2012 at 9:08 PM

    NatsJack, are you saying Perry has Minor League options for 2013.

  91. peric - Sep 23, 2012 at 9:08 PM

    Like those who said that Wang was an automatic "L" its nice to see your Legion of Doom approach.Check Lannan's record against the Phillies. How many games has Lannan pitched beyond 5? Even in AAA? Compare to Zach Duke who you saw today?And there's a reason Wang got yanked way too early … an over 6 ERA? Again, the Nats do not do well when their starter can't get through 5. And that was especially true WHEN THEY WERE LOSING 100 games! Or have you forgotten? Lannan is not a fifth starter for a playoff team. Nor is CMW. Those are just the facts. As a result the other starters must find a way to pitch outstanding games as EJax and Gio just did. They've lost Stras, time for the other four to put it into high gear.

  92. Gonat - Sep 23, 2012 at 9:09 PM

    What is it with Ian Desmond and all these walks. I think that is 4 in the last 3 games. They are pitching him like Ryan Braun in this series.

  93. peric - Sep 23, 2012 at 9:11 PM

    NatsJack, are you saying Perry has Minor League options for 2013.He doesn't. But, he's too valuable to release. As far as a trade? He was their 2nd best pitcher in the minors this season after Karns. But both Karns and Meyer have options and the Nats can afford to wait a year with them. More with Meyer. Both Purke and Solis will be rehabbing next season. Trade Natsjack? No that'll be Danny Rosenbaum just like Tommy Milone.

  94. NatsJack in Florida - Sep 23, 2012 at 9:12 PM

    No. I'm saying he's done here and will be part of a trade deal that gets Rizzo options, just like Balester.

  95. peric - Sep 23, 2012 at 9:12 PM

    What is it with Ian Desmond and all these walks. I think that is 4 in the last 3 games. They are pitching him like Ryan Braun in this series.He is now gasp their best hitter. He's hitting over .300 … ahead of Morse. Has 24 home runs ahead of Zim? He is actually hitting better than the much ballyhooed Adam LaRoche.Hell yes you don't pitch to him!

  96. Manassas Nats' Fan - Sep 23, 2012 at 9:13 PM

    We were out played in all areasmarvin Hudson bailed out.

  97. Gonat - Sep 23, 2012 at 9:13 PM

    Peric, there's a reason they play the game.

  98. Gonat - Sep 23, 2012 at 9:16 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said… No. I'm saying he's done here and will be part of a trade deal that gets Rizzo options, just like Balester. September 23, 2012 5:12 PM __________________________________That's what I'm thinking with an outside chance he makes the bullpen.

  99. sjb - Sep 23, 2012 at 9:17 PM

    Every game is important til the Nats clinch, but I don't know that tomorrow's game is more vital than the others. With the Braves now 4 1/2 back (the first time they've gained a full game since last weekend's sweep) if they run the table and win all of their last nine games (not easy despite who they are playing) the Nats could still go 6-4 in their last 10 and win the division. The Phillis may be 'always tough' and the Carda may be defending chamipions, but neither is as hot as the Brewers.

  100. Secret wasian man - Sep 23, 2012 at 9:17 PM

    This is not a good baseball team right now. They are flopping along like the Division is already won. The Magic number moves at a snails pace. There is NO sense of urgency. I will be surprised if they win the division. TIME TO WAKE UP GUYS!!!

  101. NatsJack in Florida - Sep 23, 2012 at 9:55 PM

    This is 162 game baseball. There is no such thing as playing with "a sense of urgecy" until you are playing an elimination game and even then, trying to play beyond your capabilities will lead to failure.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 72 53 --
ATLANTA 66 61 7.0
MIAMI 63 63 9.5
NEW YORK 60 68 13.5
PHILADELPHIA 56 71 17.0
Through Wednesday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
THU: Diamondbacks at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
FRI: Giants at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Giants at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Giants at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Nats at Phillies, 7:05 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Phillies, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Nats at Phillies, 7:05 p.m.
Full season schedule

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ON THE RADIO

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TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
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