Baseball is kind of a funny game. About this time last year, the Washington Nationals (77-47) were opening up a three-game home series against the Philadelphia Phillies (58-67), a series that would see the Nationals take two of three from the first-place Phillies. At the time, the Nationals were in third place in the National League East and aiming to spoil the Phillies’ playoff hopes. This year, that scenario is almost completely reversed, as today the first-place Nationals will open a three-game series in Citizens Bank Park against a third-place Phillies team that can only hope to help close the 6 1/2 rift between the Nationals and the Atlanta Braves. Tonight, the Nationals, winners of 14 of their last 17 road games, will send right-handed veteran Edwin Jackson to the mound to take on right-hander Kyle Kendrick. Continue reading
Fresh off of a series win against the New York Mets, the Washington Nationals (75-46) will host a three-game set with the Atlanta Braves (70-51), a series that will prove vital in the National League East pennant race. For the Braves, who currently sit five games behind the Nationals, the series represents one of their last opportunities to gain ground on the Nationals. On the other hand, this series presents a valuable opportunity for the Nationals to bury their only real competition for the division crown. The first of the final six games remaining between the two teams takes place tonight, when the Braves send veteran right-hander Tim Hudson to the mound opposite the Nationals’ under-the-radar ace, Jordan Zimmermann. Continue reading
After a grueling post All-Star break stretch that included 35 games in 34 days, the Washington Nationals returned from an 8-2 road trip to enjoy a day off in the nation’s capital. Tonight, the Nationals (73-45) will begin a six-game home stand with the New York Mets (56-62). Nationals’ left-hander Ross Detwiler, who will pitch on normal rest and replace Edwin Jackson, will look to make the team winners of eight of their last 10 as he takes on the Mets’ veteran left-hander Johan Santana. Continue reading
Last night, young right-hander Madison Bumgarner tossed his second complete game of the season, striking out six and giving up just one run on five hits and one walk to take the second of a three-game series. This afternoon, the Washington Nationals (72-45) look to remain undefeated in their last eight road trips by taking the rubber match from the San Francisco Giants (64-53) before returning to Nationals Park for a six-game home stand. Stephen Strasburg eyes his 14th win of the season as he takes on two-time National League Cy Young Award-winner Tim Lincecum, who is suffering his worst professional season to date. Continue reading
After a 7-4 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks in the finale of a three-game weekend series, the Washington Nationals (71-44) are set to open a three-game series with the National League West-leading San Francisco Giants (63-52) before heading back to D.C. to begin a home stand and play host to the New York Mets and the Atlanta Braves. The Nationals swept the Giants in their last meeting. They will be looking to do the same tonight when they send left-hander Gio Gonzalez to the mound to take on veteran right-hander Ryan Vogelsong. Continue reading
The Washington Nationals (71-43), winners of nine of their last 10, will be looking for their ninth win in as many games as they take on the Arizona Diamondbacks in the finale of a three-game set this afternoon. After rallying for five runs in the fifth in last night’s win, the Nationals will be looking for their second straight series sweep with left-hander Ross Detwiler on the hill. He will take on Arizona’s rookie left-hander Patrick Corbin.
Despite receiving a no-decision in his last outing, Detwiler (6-4, 2.99 ERA) has pitched marvelously through his last two starts, throwing a combined 14 innings and giving up just two runs while relying primarily on his fastball – a pitch that he has thrown more than 88 percent of the time in those two starts. In four of his last five starts, Detwiler has worked seven innings.
In three career starts against the Diamondbacks, Detwiler is 2-1 with a 3.18 ERA.
Corbin (3-4, 3.53 ERA), a 23-year-old rookie, left his last outing with the lead but received a no-decision in an eventual Diamondbacks win after pitching six innings and giving up just two runs on six hits and three walks while striking out seven. Though his numbers may not suggest it, Corbin has pitched well throughout his rookie campaign.
Corbin has never pitched against Washington.
With a series win already in hand, the Nationals will be, as noted, looking for the sweep prior to heading west to take on the San Francisco Giants in a three-game series before heading home to open up a home stand with the New York Mets.
It is probably safe to assume that no one could have predicted the current one-through-five of the National League East. Now, on August 11, the best-in-baseball Washington Nationals (70-43) are set to play the second in a three-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks (57-56) after last night’s 9-1 rout led by Stephen Strasburg, who won his 13th game of the year. The Nationals will send Edwin Jackson to the mound to take on Arizona lefty Wade Miley.
A high pitch count forced Jackson (6-7, 3.56 ERA) out of his previous start in Houston after pitching just 5.1 innings. Batter after batter, Jackson seemed to fall behind in the count, racking up 106 pitches. Still, he managed to give up just two runs on two hits and two walks while striking out eight. He has been solid, though, in his last four starts, giving up just three runs or less in each.
Jackson has had his share of starts at Chase Field and carries a 1-2 record with a 3.90 ERA in 32.1 innings pitched against his former team.
Miley (12-7, 2.85 ERA), who was hurt by a lack of run support in his last outing, is coming off of a loss in Pittsburgh despite six innings of work that saw the Pirates manage just one unearned run on six hits and a walk. He struck out two. Miley, who will feature a slider that tops out in the low 80s, missed the Nationals when the Diamondbacks visited Washington in May.
Miley’s only career start against Washington came in 2011, a win in which the lefty blanked the Nationals through six innings on five hits and four walks while striking out four.
Bryce Harper, who is batting just .143 (6-for-42, 13 strikeouts) over the last 14 days, will sit for the second time in three days – this time to give Tyler Moore a rare start against a tough lefty. The Nationals look to notch their eighth consecutive win.