What to Watch for: 4.24.13

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St. Louis Cardinals (12-8) vs. Washington Nationals (10-10)

LHP Jaime Garcia (1-1, 3.22) vs. RHP Stephen Strasburg (1-3, 2.96)

Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg makes the 50th start of his young career Wednesday afternoon as the Washington squares off with St. Louis for the final time in The District in the 2013 regular season. These two teams will not meet again until a three-game set under the Gateway Arch September 23-25.

NATIONALS LINEUP:

1. Span CF

2. Werth RF

3. Harper LF

4. Moore 1B

5. Desmond SS

6. Espinosa 2B

7. Rendon 3B

8. Solano C

9. Strasburg RHP

BRYCE AND THE NL’S BIG 5

Bryce Harper ranks among the National League’s top five in the following categories: OPS (second, 1.156), multi-hit games (second, 10), slugging percentage (second, .718), total bases (second, 51), home runs (tied-second, seven), hits (tied-second, 26), extra-base hits (tied-third, 11), batting average (fifth, .366), batting with RISP (fifth, .538) and outfield assists (tied-fifth, two).

JIM LETT’S BUDDING BULLPEN

Jim Lett’s bullpen has excelled since embarking on last week’s road trip, going 1-0 with a 1.99 ERA (5 ER/22.2 IP) in seven games (Jordan Zimmermann tossed a complete game on April 15 at Miami). Lett’s relievers have posted a 6.0/1 strikeout-to-walk ratio en route to a .167 batting average against during the seven-game revival.

TOUGH SLEDDING

The Nationals are five games into a 19-game stretch in which they will exclusively play teams with .500-or-better records: three at New York (1-2), three vs. St. Louis (0-2), four vs. Cincinnati, four at Atlanta, three at Pittsburgh, two vs. Detroit.

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