What to Watch for: 7/17

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New York Mets (46-43) vs. Washington Nationals (51-36)

LHP Jon Niese (7-4, 3.73) vs. LHP Ross Detwiler (4-3, 3.43)

The Nats are coming off of a series split in Miami and face the Mets at home in D.C. as they open a three-game set tonight. Washington has won both series against New York this season, and hopes to continue that trend, beginning with a battle of lefties this evening.

NATIONALS LINEUP

1. Lombardozzi 2B

2. Harper CF

3. Zimmerman 3B

4. Morse RF

5. LaRoche 1B

6. Moore LF

7. Espinosa SS

8. Flores C

9. Detwiler LHP

NL EAST BEASTS MEET THIS WEEK

Tonight, the Nationals begin a seven-game, six-day, two-series homestand that includes visits from the New York Mets (three games through Thursday) and Atlanta Braves (four games, Friday-Sunday, including Saturday’s doubleheader). Washington kick-started the season’s second “half” by splitting a four-game set at Miami, a series in which they outscored the Fish, 13-8, and posted 11 more hits.

NO REST FOR THE WEARY

Thanks to a pair of home twinbills (Saturday vs. Atlanta, August 3 vs. Miami) on the horizon, the Nationals are just four days (2-2 record to date) into a stretch in which they have 35 games scheduled in a 34-day stretch from July 13-August 15. The Nationals have one off day in that span, July 30. In addition, 21 of the Nationals’ first 25 post All-Star break contests come against NL East foes: eight against Miami (2-2 thus far), six against the Mets, four against Atlanta, and three against Philadelphia.

THE NATIONAL DET

Starting pitcher Ross Detwiler makes his 13th start of the season, second against the Mets. On April 10 in Flushing, NY, Detwiler tossed five shutout innings, allowing only two hits to the first two batters of the game. Over the last two seasons, the southpaw has made eight starts against NL East foes, with the Nationals going 7-1 in those games. Individually, Detwiler is 4-1 with a 3.07 ERA (15 ER/44.0 IP) in those eight starts.

 – FOLLOW NATIONALS VS. METS LIVE -

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