What to Watch for: 7/8
Colorado Rockies (32-52) vs. Washington Nationals (49-33)
RHP Jeremy Guthrie (3-8, 6.28) vs. RHP Jordan Zimmermann (5-6, 2.70)
The Nationals and Rockies match up in the final tilt before the All-Star Break this afternoon. Jordan Zimmermann, with a chance to tie his pitching record at 6-6, will push to secure the Nats 50th win before the break. After sweeping the Giants earlier in the week, the Nats look to take two consecutive series at home with a victory today.
1. Lombardozzi LF
2. Harper CF
3. Zimmerman 3B
4. Morse RF
5. LaRoche 1B
6. Desmond SS
7. Espinosa 2B
8. Solano C
9. Zimmermann RHP
If the Nationals (49-33, .598) can top the Rockies today, they will record the best first-“half” winning percentage since their arrival in the District. The inaugural-season 2005 Nationals’ 52-36 record is the target, as they played .591 ball entering the All-Star Break.
RUBBER MEETS THE ROAD
Washington plays its sixth rubber game of the season this afternoon at Nationals Park. The Nats are 4-1 in rubber games this year, having posted wins on July 1 at Atlanta (W, 8-4), June 21 vs. Tampa Bay (W, 5-2), May 3 vs. Arizona (W, 2-1) and April 11 at the Mets (W, 4-0). The lone loss came two weeks ago, June 24 at Baltimore (L, 1-2).
HOT! HOT! HOT!
With an announced temperature of 101 degrees at first pitch, yesterday’s game matched the hottest in the Nationals eight D.C. summers. Washington hosted the New York Mets in identical 101 degree heat on July 29, 2011. Speaking of hot, the Nationals have won five of their last six games, 11 of 17 and 17 of 27 with Ian Desmond clubbing home runs in five of his last 10 games. Desmond and Houston’s Jed Lawrie are currently the only shortstops in MLB to lead their club outright in home runs.