The last stand

When the Astros come into town tonight to open a four-game set, they will be looking to win nine of their last 13 games of the season. If they can complete the feat, they will end up at .500. Why is this so impressive? Because the team was just 36-53 at the All-Star Break. Oh yeah, and they started the season with eight straight losses. But the tides have turned. In fact, the Astros are not the only team coming to town on this final homestand at Nationals Park with something to prove.

 

The next ten days also include series against the Braves and the Phillies–both fighting for the division lead, which is turning into a competition of who can best the Nationals, since both teams will have played Washington six times in their final 19 games. While the Nationals season will end in just 14 short days, the next ten should provide some tough matchups with the competition clawing to achieve a few clear-cut goals. Let’s see which ones the Nationals manage to spoil.

 Astros (72-77):

1.    Jason Bourgeois – CF

2.    Jeff Keppinger – 2B

3.    Hunter Pence – RF

4.    Carlos Lee – 1B

5.    Geoff Blum – SS

6.    Chris Johnson – 3B

7.    Brian Bogusevic – LF

8.    Humberto Quintero – C

9.    Bud Norris – SP (8-8, 4.95 ERA)

 Nationals (62-87):

1.      Danny Espinosa – SS

2.      Adam Kennedy – 2B

3.      Ryan Zimmerman – 3B

4.      Adam Dunn – 1B

5.      Roger Bernadina – CF 

6.      Michael Morse – RF

7.      Willie Harris – LF

8.      Wilson Ramos – C

9.      Livan Hernandez – SP (10-11, 3.66 ERA)

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