What to Watch For: 8/30

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St. Louis Cardinals (71-59) vs. Washington Nationals (78-51)

LHP Jaime Garcia (3-5, 4.15) vs. RHP Edwin Jackson (7-9, 3.72)

The Nationals return home coming off an 8-4 win Wednesday night in Miami to open a season-long, 11-game homestand with four games against the defending World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals beginning Thursday night in D.C. Former Cardinal Edwin Jackson faces his old team for the first time since winning a ring with them last season.

NATIONALS LINEUP

1. Werth RF

2. Harper CF

3. Zimmerman 3B

4. Morse LF

5. LaRoche 1B

6. Desmond SS

7. Espinosa 2B

8. Flores C

9. Jackson RHP

SMELLS LIKE TEEN SPIRIT

By hitting a pair of homers Wednesday at Marlins Park, Bryce Harper became just the third teenage center fielder to register a multi-homer effort. Seattle’s Ken Griffey Jr. (twice in ‘89: May 30 at NYY and July 5 vs. MIN) and Chicago’s Brian McCall (September 30, 1962 at NYY) predated Harper.

THE GOOD OLD DAYS

Tonight, Edwin Jackson will face off against the club he spent part of the 2011 season with, eventually earning a World Series ring with the Cardinals. He helped St. Louis earn a postseason spot by going 5-2 with a 3.58 ERA in 13 games/12 starts with the Cards. From there, he went 1-1 with a 5.60 ERA in four October starts. Edwin earned the win, with the Cardinals facing elimination, in Game 4 of NLCS. As he makes the start tonight, note that he is winless against five franchises during career, one of which is St. Louis.

WORTH NOTING

The Nationals are 7-2 in their last nine games at home against the Cardinals. However, Washington is just 1-10 at the newest version of Busch Stadium since 2008. Washington has won five of the last seven one-run games in the series. None of Washington’s five current starting pitchers have ever earned a win at the Cardinals expense. Sean Burnett bested the Cardinals on June 29, 2004 at PNC Park to notch his first big league win. Nationals hitting coach Rick Eckstein served as Triple-A Memphis hitting coach in ‘07 and assisted Cardinals skipper Tony LaRussa at the 2005 All-Star Game at Detroit. Eckstein is also the older brother of SS David Eckstein, who was named World Series MVP in 2006. MASN’s Bob Carpenter is a St. Louis native who spent 10 seasons broadcasting Cardinals baseball on radio and TV. WFED’s Charlie Slowes began his broadcasting career at St. Louis’ KMOX, where he performed various on-air duties during broadcast of the Cardinals, the NFL Cardinals, the Blues and St. Louis University basketball from 1984-86.

DATE IN D.C. BASEBALL

August 30, 2010 – Ryan Zimmerman’s game-winning, three-run home run in the third inning triggered a 9-3 win at FLA. The blast broke a left-field electronic scoreboard that was left reading “Sun Life Stadiu” (the “m” was suddenly missing).

August 30, 2011 – The Nationals pounded out 12 hits, eight of which went for extra bases (four doubles, four home runs), in a 9-2 victory at Atlanta. In the win, Livan Hernandez worked 7.0 innings of two-run ball to register his 44th and final victory as a member of the Washington Nationals.

- FOLLOW NATIONALS VS. CARDINALS LIVE -

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