What to Watch For: 9/2

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St. Louis Cardinals (72-61) vs. Washington Nationals (80-52)

RHP Jake Westbrook (13-10, 3.94) vs. RHP Stephen Strasburg (15-6, 3.05)

The Nationals have taken two of the first three games of their first meeting with the defending World Series Champion Cardinals, and will look for a series win with Stephen Strasburg on the hill for the Sunday matinee.

NATIONALS LINEUP

1. Werth RF

2. Harper CF

3. Zimmerman 3B

4. Morse LF

5. Tracy 1B

6. Desmond SS

7. Espinosa 2B

8. Suzuki C

9. Strasburg RHP

80 AND COUNTING

With 80 wins in the bag, the Nationals have already matched their win total from last season when they finished 80-81. Only three other MLB clubs have already reached or surpassed their victory total from 2011: Baltimore (+4 wins compared to 2011), Cincinnati (+2) and Oakland (+1).

KEEPING SCORE ON THE SEASON

The Nationals are tied for the MLB lead in run differential. MLB’s top three: Washington (+112), Texas (+112) and St. Louis (+97). The Nationals have allowed the fewest runs (474) in MLB.

GOOD WOOD

Despite Saturday’s 10-9 setback, the Nationals continued their recent offensive surge. While tallying a 3-1 record the last four games, Washington has averaged 8.8 runs per contest. In the same four-game span, the Nationals are hitting .333 (49-for-147) with five doubles, a triple, eight home runs and 12 walks. Those overall numbers include a .429 (15-for-35) mark with RISP. The Nationals pace the NL having scored 238 runs since the All-Star break.

- FOLLOW NATIONALS VS. CARDINALS LIVE -

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