What to Watch for: 6.25.13

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Arizona Diamondbacks (41-34) vs. Washington Nationals (37-38)

 RHP Trevor Cahill (3-8, 3.92) vs. LHP Gio Gonzalez (3-3, 3.34) 

Following a split of a four-game set with Colorado and an off day on Monday, Washington hosts NL West-leading Arizona for three games beginning Tuesday night. In a battle of former teammates, Gio Gonzalez and Trevor Cahill go head-to-head with the Nationals looking to draw back to the .500 mark.

NATIONALS LINEUP:

1. Span CF

2. Rendon 2B

3. Werth RF

4. LaRoche 1B

5. Desmond SS

6. Tracy 3B

7. Bernadina LF

8. Suzuki C

9. Gonzalez LHP

GOOD WOOD, SLICK LEATHER

Ian Desmond currently leads all MLB shortstops with 33 extra-base hits (19 doubles, two triples, 12 home runs) and nine game-winning RBI. Remarkably, nine of Desmond’s 12 home runs this season have been go-ahead blasts. Defensively, he has played a career-high and D.C.-baseball record 56 consecutive errorless games (221 total chances) as a shortstop since last committing a miscue, April 21 at New York (NL). This is currently the longest streak of its kind among MLB shortstops.

ELITE EIGHT

Gio Gonzalez has not earned a victory in any of his last eight outings, but for no fault of his own. The lefty is holding opponents to a .174 batting average over that span, amassing a 2.18 ERA (13 ER/53.2 IP) with 52 strikeouts. The Nationals have gone 3-5 in those eight games.

D-BACKS AGAINST THE WALL

The Nationals (2005-present) are 8-6-2 (win-loss-tie) in series play against the Diamondbacks, thanks in part to a 12-4 mark in one-run games. Washington is 16-11 (.593) against the D-backs since the beginning of 2009, and the Nats .538 winning percentage against Arizona is trumped by only a .545 mark against Pittsburgh as the best against any opponent over that stretch.

1 Comment

The Nationals have started to hit. The question has always been, can they continue to hit? That question will be answered in the very next game.

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