What to Watch for: 6/15

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New York Yankees (37-25) vs. Washington Nationals (38-23)

RHP Phil Hughes (6-5, 4.76) vs. LHP Gio Gonzalez (8-2, 2.35)

Tonight’s game will kick off an exciting series of Interleague Play. Both teams come into the series on six-game winning streaks, and both are in first place of their respective divisions. Capacity crowds are expected all weekend long, and every game of the series is being televised nationally (MLB Network Friday and Saturday, TBS Sunday).


1. Lombardozzi LF

2. Harper CF

3. Zimmerman 3B

4. LaRoche 1B

5. Morse RF

6. Desmond SS

7. Espinosa 2B

8. Flores C

9. Gonzalez LHP


The Nationals (.623) and the Yankees (.597), who own the second and third-best winning percentages in the Major Leagues respectively (LAD paces MLB at .625), face off this weekend in Washington, D.C. The Nationals (4-2) and the Reds (7-5) are the only two current MLB clubs that own an all-time winning record against the New York Yankees, with the Nationals claiming two of three in each of their Interleague battles against the Bronx Bombers (2006, 2009).


With sweeps over the Boston Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays, the Washington Nationals have run their winning streak to a season-high six games. With the two sweeps, Washington became the first NL club ever to sweep consecutive series, both on the road, against teams from the AL East. The Nationals are currently four-and-a-half games ahead of the New York Mets in the NL East, the largest division lead in baseball.


The Nationals return to Nats Park for a six-game, seven-day home stand. The Nats are 18-10 at home this season, where their .643 winning percentage ranks second in MLB behind only the Los Angeles Dodgers .667 mark at Dodger Stadium.



Once again the Nats faced the problem of their mediocre offense and hitting, which has been their problem for the past three years under the (fraudulent) hitting tutelage of their supposed hitting coach Rick Ekstein. Again they failed in hitting with men on base which was not the problem of the New York Yankees which never seem to have a problem finding a competent hitting coach. Much has been made of the possibility of the Nats becoming a playoff team. That only happens if they improve the one area that they have been so glaringly deficient. And for that to happen Rizzo has to finally admit one of his few mistakes and replace Ekstein with a genuine and effective hitting coach. Frank Robinson, Oh where, Oh where are you.

Harold G. Pavel
Springfield, Virginia

In Saturday’s game with the Yankee’s the home plate umpire killed us with blown calls in terms of balls and strikes and a crucial play at the plate. But still most of this could have been overcome with more robust hitting (which i have mentioned previously). All you have to do is compare the batting averages of both the Nats and the Yankee’s to see where the difference (and problem) lies. It is not that we do not have the talent to achieve and sustain good hitting, But the knowledgeable hitting coaching to rectify this problem has not been present. Do we have to wait until the end of this year (for the third year) to finally bring this problem into sharp relief. And if not, Mr. Rizzo, how many years will it take?!!!

Harold G.Pavel
Springfield, Virginia

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