Last Series vs.: May 13-16, 2010 (L 1-3 at Coors Field)
After winning the first game of the series in a 14-8 slopfest - "highlighted" by a seven-run frame - that was called after eight innings, the Nats were a season-high five games over .500. However, they would go on to lose the next three contests, scoring just six runs in the process.
Just about everybody on the Nationals destroyed the Rockies' pitching staff in the first game, but really only Ryan Zimmerman was able to continue it through the rest of the series. Zimmerman finished the four-game set with eight hits - two of which went for home runs - and drove in seven runs. Adam Dunn only had two hits in the series, but both long balls. Other than that, the Nats were held relatively in check after the opener.
John Lannan, who will start tonight for the Nats, was tagged for four runs on six hits and four walks in 4.2 innings in the opening contest. Meanwhile, Livan Hernandez, who is not scheduled to pitch in the upcoming series, took the loss in the second game. He allowed three runs - two of which came on solo homers by Miguel Olivo and Jason Giambi - on seven hits in six innings. Neither of the other two starters the Rockies faced are on Washington's roster in 2011.
Latest Series Results: Split 2-2 vs. Pittsburgh; W 3-1 vs. Chicago (NL)
The Nationals should have finished off a sweep of the Cubs yesterday, as they had an 8-0 lead after five innings. However, the Cubs stormed back with six runs in the sixth, two more in the seventh, and one apiece in the eighth and ninth innings and ended up prevailing 10-9. It was indeed a tough loss for the Nationals.
With that being said, Washington is still on the road to respectability, as their above-.500 record would suggest. Offensively, their lineup contains six above-average hitters in terms of wRC+ (although their bench is quite subpar), with only 100-plus-millionaire Jayson Werth and Ian Desmond coming in below average at the halfway point.
#38 / Left Field / Washington Nationals
Mar 22, 1982
|2011 - Michael Morse||.303||.351||.536|
Leading the pack for the Nats is 29-year-old first baseman Michael Morse, who is enjoying a rather fine breakout campaign. A mountain of a man, Morse was acquired a couple of seasons ago from Seattle, and has enjoyed success with Washington (albeit in a small sample size prior to this year) ever since. As much as I hate to admit it, he was just as deserving of that final All-Star spot that ended up going to Shane Victorino as our own Todd Helton. Unfortunately, he too was snubbed in favor of the large-market centerfielder. Morse has posted a wRC+ of 140, and has 15 bombs to go along with an OPS of 887. He could walk more, but all-in-all he has been tremendous for DC.
Danny Espinosa has had a breakout season of his own, as he possesses a 125 wRC+ and has hit for a ton of power; his 16 home runs are good enough for a tie with Rickie Weeks for the major league lead among second basemen. Like Morse, Espinosa also missed out on an All-Star spot. He is, however, likely the front-runner for the National League Rookie of the Year award so far.
The one guy for the Nats who did make the All-Star team is reliever Tyler Clippard. And, other than the fact that he's a reliever, there's no good argument as to why he shouldn't have made it, either. In 48.1 innings, Clippard has struck out 61 batters and walked only 15. He is a bit homer-prone, but other than that he has been fantastic - to the tune of a 204 ERA+. On the starting rotation front, Jordan Zimmermann has been unlucky, if not masterful. Zimmermann has portrayed very good command, walking just 1.7 batters per nine innings while whiffing a respectable 6.3. His ERA+ is 136, best among Washington's starters. Despite that, he holds a W-L record of just 5-7, though his ERA is just 2.82.
Friday through Sunday: 3-game series at Nationals Park
Expected Pitching Matchups
Friday, July 8, 2011 @ 5:05 PM MT
|2011 - Jason Hammel||4-8||17||17||0||0||0||0||104.1||107||57||50||11||39||53||4.31||1.40|
|2011 - John Lannan||5-5||18||18||0||0||0||0||105.1||106||43||41||8||37||53||3.50||1.36|
Saturday, July 9, 2011 @ 5:05 PM MT
|2011 - Ubaldo Jimenez||3-8||16||16||2||1||0||0||96.1||90||54||47||8||40||87||4.39||1.35|
|2011 - Jason Marquis||7-3||22||17||1||1||0||0||100.2||116||51||46||7||30||59||4.11||1.45|
Sunday, July 10, 2011 @ 11:35 AM MT
|2011 - Jhoulys Chacin||8-6||18||17||1||1||0||0||109.2||81||43||40||15||49||97||3.28||1.19|
|2011 - Jordan Zimmermann||5-7||19||17||1||0||0||0||108.2||98||39||34||4||21||76||2.82||1.10|
|2011 - Drew Storen||5-2||43||0||0||0||22||3||45.1||32||14||13||4||12||33||2.58||.97|