Party in the USA

Landon Donovan’s magical, heart-stopping, high-five-starting goal in the 91st minute sent the nation into a state of euphoria as Team USA beat Algeria 1-0 to advance to the round of 16. And now for the transition to baseball… the Nats turn to their budding young star Stephen Strasburg to help bring out the brooms and sweep the Royals out of town. The game isn’t lose or go home like it was for the US soccer team but a win today will propel the Nats into the weekend series with the O’s–baseball worst team. The Nats need to get back to .500 and this could be the start of a nice streak. The Nats won the series with last night’s 4-3 victory and now they look to sweep their second series of the year–the first one came against the Pirates. Stephen Strasburg takes the mound for the fourth time this season.

Kansas City (29-43):

1.    Scott Podsednik – LF

2.    Jason Kendall – C

3.    David DeJesus – CF

4.    Billy Butler – 1B

5.    Jose Guillen – RF

6.    Alberto Callaspo – 3B

7.    Yuniesky Betancourt – SS

8.    Chris Getz – 2B

9.    Brian Bannister – SP (6-5, 5.70 ERA)

Nationals (33-39):

1.      Nyjer Morgan – CF

2.      Roger Bernadina – RF

3.      Ryan Zimmerman – 3B

4.      Adam Dunn – 1B

5.      Josh Willingham – LF

6.      Ivan Rodriguez – C

7.      Adam Kennedy – 2B

8.      Ian Desmond – SS

9.      Stephen Strasburg – SP (2-0, 1.86 ERA)

 

*The Nationals rank in MLB’s top half in home runs (tied for 14th with 65), but unfortunately lead baseball in highest percentage of home runs that have come with the bases empty–67.7 percent (44 of 65) of the long balls hit by Washington this season have been solo shots. The Rockies (67.6%) and Rays (65.6%) rank second and third, respectively, in the Majors.

 

*Another note of the long ball, Adam Dunn leads MLB with 13 solo home runs this season and Josh Willingham is tied for fourth in the same category, as 10 of his 13 home runs have been solo blasts.

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