What to Watch For: 8/18
New York Mets (56-63) vs. Washington Nationals (74-45)
LHP Jon Niese (9-6, 3.67) vs. RHP Edwin Jackson (7-7, 3.74)
The Nationals won their 11th game in 13 tries with a 6-4 triumph in Friday night’s series opener, riding a Michael Morse grand slam and Bryce Harper two-run homer to all six of their runs. Tonight, Edwin Jackson takes on the Mets with an extra day of rest as Washington hunts for its 75th win of the season.
1. Werth CF
2. Espinosa 2B
3. Zimmerman 3B
4. Morse LF
5. LaRoche 1B
6. Desmond SS
7. Moore LF
8. Flores C
9. Jackson RHP
THE NATIONAL DET
Ross Detwiler allowed 3 runs in 6.0 innings pitched as Washington won its fifth straight series opener. In so doing, Detwiler improved to 6-0 with a 2.04 ERA in 10 games (eight starts) against the NL East this season.
KEEPING SCORE ON THE SEASON
The Nationals currently rank 2nd in MLB in run differential at +107. MLB’s top 3: St. Louis (+108), Washington (+107) and New York (AL) (+105). Washington has allowed the fewest runs (424) in MLB and has dented the plate 531 times this season (sixth in NL/13th in MLB).
DEJA VU ALL OVER AGAIN AS MORSE’S HIT STREAK REACHES 13 (WE THINK)
Michael Morse is 17-for-54 (.315) with five doubles, four homers and 12 RBI during a current 13-game hitting streak. On August 10, Morse was the victim of a late scoring change levied by MLB that changed an August 2 single into an E-6, and thus, nullified what would now be a 24-game hitting streak. That hypothetical 24-gamer would be the 2nd-longest in Nationals (‘05-present) history.