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Game 18: Nats at Mets

Apr 21, 2013, 2:30 PM EDT

Zimmermann gets his turn against the Mets. (Photo by USA Today)

The Nationals got the win yesterday to even up the series against the Mets, but they did it despite a rough start by Gio Gonzalez. After Stephen Strasburg's forgettable outing on Friday and Gio's long Saturday afternoon, Washington will hope for something better out of Jordan Zimmermann in the series finale.

Zimmermann has already earned three wins on the season after allowing just six earned runs through his first 22 innings pitched. He has 11 career starts against New York with a 3.00 ERA across 60 innings. Last season against the Mets he went 1-0 with a 1.96 ERA, 0.957 WHIP, and 21 strikeouts.

Facing the Nationals' lineup will be right-hander Dillon Gee (0-3, 8.36 ERA) who has traditionally fared well against Washington. In six career starts vs. the Nats he is 3-1 with a 3.36 ERA.

The Nationals will look a little bit different with the addition of top prospect Anthony Rendon to the roster. He was called up on Saturday to replace Ryan Zimmerman who heads to the disabled list. We'll see what the kid has in store for his major league debut.

Enjoy the game…

WASHINGTON NATIONALS at NEW YORK METS
Where: Citi Field
Gametime: 1:10 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN2, WUSA-9, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM)
Weather: Cloudy, 57 degrees

NATIONALS (10-7)
CF Denard Span
RF Jayson Werth
LF Bryce Harper
1B Adam LaRoche

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251 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. peric - Apr 21, 2013 at 10:49 PM

    We have people hear suggesting Espi should be benched while other think Espi should be the starting shortstop.I haven't looked it up but my impression from last season was that Espinosa hit far better playing shortstop when Desi went down than he did when playing second base.Espinosa clearly seems to prefer shortstop. And then he suffered the separation of the rotator cuff. There's a lot going on with Danny he's got a lot of drama and maybe some bad karma.

  2. JD - Apr 21, 2013 at 11:04 PM

    Peric. They didn't pay Brad Lidge $13 mil. They are not replacing Haren with Rosenbaum or Karns any time soon.

  3. Gonat - Apr 21, 2013 at 11:06 PM

    I would find it hard to believe there is correlation to a theory that moving a position to a more demanding position such as 2nd base to Shortstop made that player over the long-term a better batter.

  4. Gonat - Apr 21, 2013 at 11:11 PM

    BTW, nice to see Kris Medlen losing again!

  5. NatsLady - Apr 21, 2013 at 11:16 PM

    Atlanta is going next to Colorado, where the Rockies are hot as molten lava. Also, that is a bizarre environment there, which the Rockies are used to but the visiting teams are not. By the time you get acclimatized, you leave for the next city with your pitching and hitting all awry. (Our turn will come, but not until June.) Atlanta has lost 5 of 6 now, and their offense has been shut down by that great, ahem, Royals and Pirates pitching. Holes in the Atlanta lineup are starting to show. They are second to the Astros with 27% strikeout ratio (Astros are at 28%, and their pitchers don't bat). Nats are at 23% even with Danny and the pitchers. :). The big culprits:BJ Upton – 22/66 = 33% of ABsJ Upton – 21/67D. Uggla – 20/56ATL battingAlso, mick, I doubt Rizzo is regretting Morse right about now. Morse is hitting .231. He's either still injured or slumping badly. His K% is 28.6% (Danny's is, wait for it, only 16%). But right now Span is one of those rare creatures (like Votto) whose BB% is greater than his K%. Plus he can field. As I said this morning, I have reservations about Rendon. Not saying he should not have been brought up with RZ's injury, but he is not, IMO, going to be ROY. I doubt it will harm his "development," but there is a big difference between Arizona Fall league, spring training, and AA-ball–as he is about to discover. (Please note, I didn't feel this way about Harper, I was a big advocate of him coming up as soon as was financially feasible.)The bullpen is righting itself, that is a good sign. (In my parking lot today I saw a Mama Duck with 7 ducklings. Mama Duck was pretty smart, she nudged the babies under the chain link fence and then she walked around it to get to them. McCatty is gonna bring his ducklings into shape).Now Davey needs to make the boys take infield until they get used to Rendon and Desi gets his focus.

  6. Manassas Nats' Fan - Apr 21, 2013 at 11:23 PM

    Tomorrow Nats 5 Cards 3.I am for replacing anyone, I am for everyone playing up to their potential.

  7. NatsLady - Apr 21, 2013 at 11:24 PM

    Jayson let the Mets off the hook with wanting to go for the hit instead of the walk. I doubt that will happen again. Also, JZ was very good about not letting the errors or Buck's HR get to him. Unfortunately, there was a cost, not only in pitchcount but in stress. I am really liking JZ's maturity, and I hope Stras is watching.

  8. peric - Apr 21, 2013 at 11:27 PM

    Anthony Rendon is still a better hitter than Harper was when he came to the majors last year. He just doesn't approach the game like his "hair is always on fire" as Rizzo put it. He has a calmer, more professional demeanor but like Danny can be very intense.I think you'll find that Rendon will adapt to major league pitching and breaking balls fairly rapidly Natslady. Its his power that might take a back seat while he goes through that adjustment. That doesn't make automatically make him the ROY but it could give the Nats a consistent, reliable bat in the lineup as well as a smooth, almost flawless third baseman.Yes Span walks and Lombo doesn't but the problem is there's no one to drive these guys in consistently other than Harper. With Zim's bat gone and Morse's gone you are down to LaRoche and he appears to be regressing to his mean (see his seasons in Arizona).

  9. Rich P. - Apr 21, 2013 at 11:33 PM

    "When asked about the 3-0 pitch Davey gruffly responded, "I'm not going to go into that." HE NEVER does that … at least as long as I've seen his interviews with the Nats. Maybe Mark can remember another time but I can't.Yeah he's pissed."No he's not. What he's doing here is not throwing his player under the bus.

  10. NatsLady - Apr 21, 2013 at 11:37 PM

    peric, I'm sure Rendon will be a fine major-league hitter. But he isn't yet, and he made some misplays in the field during spring training. That said, this was his first game, I expect he was nervouse, especially in a such a close game. Apparently, due to an airline snafu, his folks were not at the game for his debut. I hope they are here tomorrow for his first HR and 5-4-3 doubleplay.

  11. DJB - Apr 21, 2013 at 11:41 PM

    First, NatsLady, I agree with your analysis regarding Espi's SO's. I'm more concerned with his poor OBP and contact rate, which reflect a poor plate approach. SO's are over-emphasized as a statistic. Second, I have noticed that the bullpen has begun to right itself. That is a good sign. Third, Peric, there is no way Rendon is a better hitter than Bryce. Fourth, believe it or not, we are underutilizing Bryce because of the holes in the middle of our lineup. He appears to be the only one who can hit curveballs. A big departure from last year. Fifth, our hitting has always been spotty at times, but our pitching bailed the team out. If this begins to occur, I wouldn't care about a loss here or there.

  12. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 21, 2013 at 11:41 PM

    NatsLady at 7:24 nicely put. JZim was impressive again although I want to see more sliders and a couple first pitch changeups. Holding the Mets to 2 runs with Dillon Gee who is very hittable is opportunity squandered. No shame to lose to Harvey but Dillon Gee?

  13. Gonat - Apr 21, 2013 at 11:44 PM

    Rich P. said… No he's not. What he's doing here is not throwing his player under the bus. ___________________________________Perception is reality. By saying nothing, he left it up to interpretation. Sounds like many here felt his "I'm not going to go into that" was saying Jayson never should've swung out it and Davey was pissed.He didn't throw him under the bus but it's a very difficult situation to circumnavigate around.

  14. Gonat - Apr 21, 2013 at 11:52 PM

    Michael Morse batting .231 and got a gift double when the RF misplayed the ball and could've been an error.On top of that, he has K'd 18 times in 15 games.Since he broke his pinkie his BA has dropped 62 points and no HRs since April 9th.

  15. Gonat - Apr 22, 2013 at 12:00 AM

    NatsLady said… peric, I'm sure Rendon will be a fine major-league hitter. But he isn't yet, __________________________________Yah, no kidding and why would anyone compare them. Apples and oranges. I never liked the comparisons last year of Trout/Harper but they do play a similar game at least. Let these players show who they are and what they can do. I think right away Rendon was trying to power up. He's a gap hitter and to use that saying again, he needs to stay within himself and play his game.

  16. Rich P. - Apr 22, 2013 at 12:03 AM

    Gonad, clearly you have never had the experience of someone having your back. You have my sympathies for that. Look, there was absolutely nothing Davey could have said in answer to that question that would not have cast at least some negative aspersions on Werth. Davey chose the answer that let Werth make his own choice as to how much of the blame he would accept. To his credit, Werth owned up to his mistake. But to Davey's credit, he had Werth's back and did not throw him under the bus. It's episodes like this that show what a great manager Davey is. Wins or losses don't do that.

  17. peric - Apr 22, 2013 at 12:24 AM

    Apparently, due to an airline snafu, his folks were not at the game for his debut. I hope they are here tomorrow for his first HR and 5-4-3 doubleplay.I found that story exceedingly strange Natslady. I think the airline folks are human. If someone told them they wanted to see their son's one-and-only major league debut they would move heaven-and-earth to get them seats even if it meant bumping them up to first class.If things have gotten so bad that such an accommodation could not be made by one of our airlines then our country is in a declining state indeed and Newtown and the the tragedy in Boston may be just harbingers of what is to come.

  18. peric - Apr 22, 2013 at 12:26 AM

    Since he broke his pinkie his BA has dropped 62 points and no HRs since April 9th.Morse has never been good at playing with injuries … but then, neither has Espinosa. Just means someone gets Morse cheap when he becomes a free agent. Great bargain when that happens.

  19. peric - Apr 22, 2013 at 12:29 AM

    Big font for Desi==> I like it! ;-)7 errors already and the season is young. yep the finger should be pointed there … he only had 15 last season.

  20. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 22, 2013 at 12:41 AM

    Rich P. I have Gonat's back. What he said was a good read on Davey. He left it up to interpretation. Read the many commentors who thought Davey was pissed. Again, interpretation since he could've been pissed just about losing to a subpar pitcher.

  21. peric - Apr 22, 2013 at 12:56 AM

    peric, … and he made some misplays in the field during spring trainingAnd Harper has already made 3 or 4 this season at least and there was one just today Natslady? Rendon is going to be far superior to Harper in that category for sure and its ridiculous to even suggest that Harper due to his less than a season experience in a major league outfield (and just recently converted to that position) is going to be better than Rendon who played third throughout college and into the minors including the AFL? C'mon Natslady you are beginning to sound like you want Rick Ankiel back again!

  22. NatsLady - Apr 22, 2013 at 1:05 AM

    Humph. Rick Ankiel striking out 2/3 of the time. OTOH, 2/3 of his hits have been home runs.

  23. baseballswami - Apr 22, 2013 at 1:43 AM

    So what this comes down to is this– no one has any idea at all why the very talented Nats are playing so ineptly. Total and complete mystery. Lots of theories, though. It's like a curse or hex or something. Or a bad dream. Nightmare, really. Maybe we need a break the curse night where everyone brings their favorite good luck charm or curse breaking amulet. Something- anything. It's just so strange- I never in a million years saw all this sloppy crap coming. Worried about other stuff , but never defense. It's a cruel game.

  24. Rich P. - Apr 22, 2013 at 1:43 AM

    Gonad of Steve M., the commenter I'll pay attention to is the former player and former manager who has known Davey for 40 years. Guy named Ray Knight. He spent a lot of time in the postgame show talking about that 3-0 swing and Davey's comment, and his conclusion was that Davey would never say anything that would make a player look bad. Which is why Davey's answer to the question was basically "no comment."

  25. Rich P. - Apr 22, 2013 at 1:48 AM

    Here's someone who knows why the very talented Nats are playing so ineptly.@ThomasBoswellWP Nats must make 3-4-5 brutal mental mistakes or errors on easy plays in most of their games. 5 today. Pressing in April. Expectations rob joy@ThomasBoswellWP Well, there's perfect example. Werth swings at a 3-0 pitcher's pitch low-away with two on, none out, behind 2-0 in 8th. Ground into easy DP.It's just what I said yesterday. They need to take John Riggins' advice. Loosen up Sandy baby. You're too tight.

  26. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 22, 2013 at 1:50 AM

    Troll alert. Glad Rich told us what he knows is opinions through channeling his inner Ray Knight. Brilliant. I also don't know why you chose to cutdown Gonat who is a knowledgeable poster and didn't even make the comment you commented on at 7:33.

  27. Gonat - Apr 22, 2013 at 1:58 AM

    Steve, thanks for coming to my defense although I was trying to ignore him. I don't know why he decided to attack me. He should take his own advice and Loosen up and don't act like Feelwood. It's fairly obvious. He just can't stay away and heavens forbid if you do actually disagree with him he starts calling people names "Gonad". Clever!

  28. baseballswami - Apr 22, 2013 at 2:05 AM

    I think there might be something to the theory of the guys needing to loosen up. They are kind of playing all wound up. Morse gone, DeRo gone, even Ankiel, Michael Gonzalez. Gio not smiling. Ramos and Zim out- while not jokesters, at least calm guys. I heard on the radio that when Mike Redmond was a catcher for the Twins he used to take naked batting practice during slumps to break the tension. Pretty serious guys on this team -can't see any of them as comic relief. The fumbling appears to be contagious, though. Hope they ease up.

  29. Gonat - Apr 22, 2013 at 2:10 AM

    baseballswami, I heard the same segment on 106.7 and a guy named Bruce had called in saying Morse was needed as the funny guy in the clubhouse. Then the radio host told that stories about Mike Redmond. Funny stuff.

  30. Steve J, Alexandria - Apr 22, 2013 at 2:15 AM

    I have to laugh at all the posters calling for Davey's job, demanding espi sit down, hating this team's approach and really hating Davey's inept managing.I said of this before. The difference was that I said it first – I stated early what all of you cowardly ninnies were seeing but afraid to admit: this team has So many weaknesses. I excoriated the Span for MOrse trade off — now all agree. All agree!! But I was called more names, attacked by more people, asked to leave by each and every one of you.I laugh at all of you.Now, as I predicted, this team will turn on each other. Davey's magic is gone — now he has to manage, and he cant. He will be fired early — Rizzo is a lucky jerk — when was the last time you heard of the Smart Scout — and oxymoron if I ever heard one. Rizzo has fatally weakened this team. I said this two weeks ago, and was crucified for it. Now we all know its true. Davey, Espi, haren, Rizzo, Zimmo all have to go.We should have kept the lefties we let go — traded Zimmerman, started with Rendon at third, harper should be in center, Moore in left, Werth right, we should have let Laroche go and Morse should be playing 1b, Now that would have been a Damn Good TeamTeam that should have beenc: Suzuki1b: Morse2b: Lomboss: Desi3b: RendonLf: MooreCf: Harperrf: WerthBullpen: retained Gorzo, Gonzo, and BurnettNow that would have been The Team

  31. Steve J, Alexandria - Apr 22, 2013 at 2:21 AM

    As the Sun comes up tomorrow, Haren will get blasted tomorrow.Rizzo paid him 13 mil but didn't do enough due diligence to prove what we all knew last year: that Haren was totally washed up!You think you all are depressed now, wait until after tomorrow's game.Expect Lombo, Det and Zimmermann to get out of here as soon as they can. Lombo and DEt get dissed by a stupid obtuse Davey, and Zimmermann just doesn't fit in with this team and looks miserable.Even Gio isn't laughing anymore. Last year was magic; this year is pure duck crap. Good bye Davey — you'll never manage again, that's for certain

  32. Scott Margenau - Apr 22, 2013 at 2:58 AM

    Peric et all. Lombo hasn't even played a full season….sample size is too small….he is only getting better, and more power. If he's not as good as espi it's close defensively. Now, think about this. Peric is right about how this line up, as is doesn't produce runs…lacks power. We can't have espi in there other than right vs left, he's a huge hole. We need Moore to make the line up potent and protected…same with Desi. With Zim gone we need bats….this team just needs to buckle down and stop playing like boneheads. What we need is a locker room/ dug out presence that will get these guys going. Didn't Davey give some speech last year that started a turn????

  33. peric - Apr 22, 2013 at 3:04 AM

    So what this comes down to is this– no one has any idea at all why the very talented Nats are playing so ineptly. I think its called "chemistry" Swami? And in Davey's defense against the Ori-hole troll Steve J … he has already stated that the fact things aren't mixed together right is on him. He hasn't gotten things adjusted yet. Of course he was mostly referring to the bullpen but I suspect he meant the lineup as well. I know its reaching but that's my gut feeling.Yes, the talent is there but they aren't playing like a "cohesive unit", in other words a team. They aren't picking the other guy up when he flubs in the field. They aren't picking up pitchers who have bad games. Not getting runs for pitchers having good games. There seems to be a lot of complacency out the gate because I guess they believe their jobs are secure? Not a good thing to believe when Rizzo and Johnson are managing you … but … Well at least that is what I think at this point.Am I worried? No. I like the Rendon move because it sends a message that says management happy with the current outcome. Even if it does seem like the easy choice given Rendon was already on the 40-man and is the best fielder at the position of the bunch. Everyone knows how much Rizzo likes to avoid making moves on his 40-man which currently sits at 38? I think Davey and Rizzo will hash it all out in private behind closed doors with the rest of the brain trust and coaches. I am now beginning to wonder if they don't miss Houston's manager Bo Porter? Perhaps he was more of a key to their winning season than we realized?

  34. peric - Apr 22, 2013 at 3:13 AM

    Peric et all. Lombo hasn't even played a full season….sample size is too small….he is only getting better, and more power. If he's not as good as espi it's close defensively. I agree with most of what you said except well the fielding again. If you put Lombo against most of the rest of the second baseman in the major leagues he would more than hold his own. Because of his weak arm its really the best/safest spot for him as a starter. He's really not an outfielder and would be challenged to play anywhere else on the infield except first base.Danny Espinosa when compared to most major league shortstops might just stand out defensively. He's very fast and sure handed. He has a rifle arm. He is a superb athlete capable of adapting to play ANY position on the field except catcher. AND that is precisely what you want in a major league shortstop. Which he is. When you put such a shortstop at second base its like instant gold glove with tremendous range and agility.Offensively, they are different players Lombo and Espy. Lombo needed to be more like Span and perhaps there would be no Span. Lombo the switch hitter leading off with a .400 OBP is exactly what the doctor ordered. Now, where they would put him on the field? Probably left field I would hazard. With Harper continuing to hold down center field.Back to the bats. They could surely use Tyler Moore in the line up. The only reason I can come up with for that not happening is that Moore isn't ready fielding wise. Which is why I believe Lombo could have owned left-field if he had learned to WALK goddamnit! Now, the Nats are grooming Moore to be an outfielder. They should send him to Syracuse to work on that and bring someone up like Marerro to be the bench bat. Marerro can play only one position: first base. He makes the perfect backup and understudy to LaRoche as well as a pinch hitter. He's spent plenty of time in the minors honing both his offense and as much as he can his defense. Bottom line: Moore is the future starter and he needs to play every day. Marerro is a future bench / DH guy. He doesn't.

  35. Scott Margenau - Apr 22, 2013 at 3:16 AM

    Steve, with the exception of morse (too slow, too hurt, Bad def) I like your team a lot. But zim is here and cost a ton, so what's plan b?

  36. Bob Saget Nats Fan 101 - Apr 22, 2013 at 3:21 AM

    I agree with those who say they need to lighten up and laugh. I remember watching everyone last year. They were smiles all around. They goofed off and had fun.They need to play the game to have fun. They also need someone to become the team clown.

  37. Scott Margenau - Apr 22, 2013 at 3:22 AM

    Peric. Intangibles. Lombo makes things happen. Danny is bad karma. Ryan leaf of baseball. Wait that's too harsh, but u get my drift.

  38. peric - Apr 22, 2013 at 3:22 AM

    And Morse got hurt … yet again … and he is one year and done for Seattle. Because of his fractured pinky his batting average has dropped 61 points. Morse has NEVER hit well when injured Steven J. What do you do about that? Same with Zimmerman when he's healthy he's an impact hitter. When he's not he isn't. And right now he's not health.As for Davey he's gone after this year. I guess they were planning on replacing him with Bo Porter but Bo got offered a major league managing job earlier than they would've liked. I don't think they hire anyone from the inside to manage. Maybe Bo will get fired when he loses 100+. Somehow I doubt it.

  39. peric - Apr 22, 2013 at 3:26 AM

    Peric. Intangibles. Lombo makes things happen. Danny is bad karma. Ryan leaf of baseball.Different personality types … Danny is very intense. Sure, he does have a bit of a cloud hanging over him and can be very stubborn. But he is still young and still has the most ceiling of just about any major league shortstop and most if not all second baggers. Lombo really doesn't to put it harshly. He's an adequate starting second baseman who, yes, can be a fireplug. He has a lot of intangibles that make up for his lack of raw talent. Danny has as much raw talent as Harper and Rendon and then some. But like Zim (and Michael Morse) he isn't completely healthy with that rotator cuff plus now the wrist.So, yes in essence.

  40. Scott Margenau - Apr 22, 2013 at 3:26 AM

    Mark can I offer u a free new blog design? This one doesn't work well on mobile. It's an older template. The comment mod is really hard to use. Lmk (imageworksstudio.com)

  41. Gonat - Apr 22, 2013 at 3:26 AM

    Bob Saget Nats Fan 101 said… I agree with those who say they need to lighten up and laugh. I remember watching everyone last year. They were smiles all around. They goofed off and had fun.They need to play the game to have fun. They also need someone to become the team clown. ________________________You must not have been around last April 27, 28, and 29.

  42. peric - Apr 22, 2013 at 3:30 AM

    Mark can I offer u a free new blog design? This one doesn't work well on mobile. It's an older template. The comment mod is really hard to use. Lmk (imageworksstudio.com)Probably need a mobile app for IOS, Android, and I guess Windoze 8 instead. Need one that you can flip back and forth between the mlbatbat app.

  43. Gonat - Apr 22, 2013 at 3:32 AM

    Scott Margenau said… Mark can I offer u a free new blog design? This one doesn't work well on mobile. It's an older template. The comment mod is really hard to use. Lmk (imageworksstudio.com) ___________________________________Is that why so many comments go to Spam?

  44. Rich P. - Apr 22, 2013 at 3:39 AM

    They don't necessarily need to laugh. But they do need to lighten up. They're wound too tight. Thinking they need to live up to expectations with every pitch, every play. Until they relax and just play the game as it comes to them, they won't win. Even if they do relax, there's no guarantee they'll win. But if they don't relax, it's a guarantee that they won't win. That's why you see Davey deflecting any suggestions of panic from the media. He's not panicking, and eventually the team will see that and they'll quit panicking too.

  45. Bob Saget Nats Fan 101 - Apr 22, 2013 at 4:12 AM

    Gonat saidYou must not have been around last April 27, 28, and 29.————————I was not active in this blog then nor was I actively following the nats then (I had some personal stuff going on).What happened on those dates.To Rich: I couldnt agree with you more. Some how they need to read what you said and apply it.

  46. peric - Apr 22, 2013 at 4:25 AM

    He's not panicking, and eventually the team will see that and they'll quit panicking too.They're not panicking or pressing yet but they are struggling. They are wasting good pitching performances with the poor fielding. They are definitely turning somewhat shaky pitching into implosions with the fielding.Hitting can come and go … but the fielding is supposed to be rock solid. Again makes me wonder if losing Bo Porter hurt more than many realize.

  47. peric - Apr 22, 2013 at 4:27 AM

    Is that why so many comments go to Spam?I think that's the "back-end" Gonat … which is something different from what Rich proposes.

  48. peric - Apr 22, 2013 at 6:15 AM

    Err I meant to say : what Scott proposes …

  49. natsfan1a - Apr 22, 2013 at 11:28 AM

    Perception is reality? Um, not imho. If the reference is to the politics-related quote, that was about controlling the narrative and getting voters to believe what you want them to believe. We each make our own inferences about a given event. If perception is reality, there would be many different realities about the same event. But maybe that was Gonat's point. Anyhoo, back to baseball.

  50. Sec. 3, My Untucked Sofa - Apr 22, 2013 at 11:47 AM

    "If perception is reality, there would be many different realities about the same event."OK, but the future, at least, is set in stone, right? Predictions are reality, at least.

  51. natsfan1a - Apr 22, 2013 at 12:13 PM

    Miss Cleo I am not. :-)

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