What to Watch for: 7/19

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New York Mets (46-45) vs. Washington Nationals (53-36)

RHP R.A. Dickey (12-1, 2.66) vs. LHP Gio Gonzalez (12-4, 2.93)

The Nationals keep their brooms close by as they head into the series finale with the Mets, having taken the first two games of the set. Today’s All-Star pitching battle features Washington’s Gio Gonzalez, looking for his first win in the second half of the season, against New York’s R.A. Dickey, whose knuckleball held the Nats to only one run in a loss that spoiled similar hopes for a home sweep in early June.

NATIONALS LINEUP

1. Lombardozzi 2B

2. Harper RF

3. Zimmerman 3B

4. LaRoche 1B

5. Morse LF

6. Espinosa SS

7. Bernadina CF

8. Flores C

9. Gonzalez LHP

NATIONALS SOLID FROM A (ADAM) TO Z (ZIMMERMANN) IN EDGING METS

Jordan Zimmermann worked six scoreless innings to buy enough time for Adam LaRoche to hit a two-run, sixth-inning homer in the Nationals 4-3 win on Wednesday vs. the New York Mets. Washington moved to a season-high, 17 games above .500 with the victory and improved to 13-5 in one-run games at Nationals Park. Steve Lombardozzi’s two-run double in the seventh provided the cushion required.

THE DUKES OF A DOZEN WINS

With 12 wins apiece, Gonzalez and Dickey square off today in D.C., each with an eye on potentially becoming MLB’s first 13-game winner. Gonzalez and Dickey are currently tied for the MLB lead in wins with Tampa Bay Rays lefty David Price and Texas Rangers southpaw Matt Harrison.

SERIES BUSINESS

With Wednesday’s 4-3 victory, the Nationals clinched another series win. Washington is now 18-7-5 (win-loss-tie) in series play this season, including a 7-1-2 mark against NL East foes.

- FOLLOW NATIONALS VS. METS LIVE -

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