What to Watch For: 8/24

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Washington Nationals (77-47) vs. Philadelphia Phillies (58-67)

RHP Edwin Jackson (7-8, 3.69) vs. RHP Kyle Kendrick (6-9, 4.20)

Following an off day, the Nationals travel to Philadelphia to open a three-game set with the Phillies as part of a five-game road trip. Edwin Jackson looks to get back in the win column as he follows up on his season-high 11 strikeouts in his last outing.


1. Lombardozzi 2B

2. Harper CF

3. Zimmerman 3B

4. Morse LF

5. LaRoche 1B

6. Werth RF

7. Espinosa SS

8. Suzuki C

9. Jackson RHP

The Nationals tonight begin a shorter-than-usual two-city, five-game road trip with the first of three weekend contests at Citizens Bank Park. Following Sunday’s finale, the Nationals are slated to jet south to enjoy an off day (Monday) and a two-game series in Miami. However, Tropical Storm Isaac could potentially affect Washington’s travel plans. The Nationals are fresh off a 4-2 homestand that included series wins over the Braves (2-1) and Mets (2-1). Washington outscored their two opponents on the homestand, 21-18.

Coming off a dominating performance in his last outing, albeit a tough-luck loss in which he fanned 11 in 7.0 innings, Edwin Jackson accepts the starting assignment tonight against the Phillies. It is his fourth-career start against the NL East rivals, and third of the season. Note that Jackson has won games against 25 MLB teams and in 21 ballparks, but has yet to do so against either Philadelphia or at Citizens Bank Park.

One year ago today (entering play on August 24, 2011), the third-place Nationals trailed the first-place Phillies in the NL East standing by 21.0 games. This year, the two clubs have swapped spots in the standings as Washington holds a 19.5-game advantage over the third-place Phillies in the NL East. Washington is 12-6 against the Phillies since Davey Johnson became manager, including a 4-1 mark in one-run games. Before going 10-8 against the Phillies in ‘11, the Nationals/Expos had won only two season series from PHI the previous 14 years (the Nationals went 10-9 in ’06; the Expos went 11-8 in ‘02). In four seasons (2007-‘10) as a Phillie, Jayson Werth hit .282 with 99 doubles, 95 homers, 300 RBI and 60 stolen bases. He earned a World Series ring as a member of the 2008 Phillies. Johnson played parts of two seasons for the Phillies (1977-‘78) and batted .273 with 10 home runs and 50 RBI in 122 games.


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