What to Watch for: 6.28.13

Washington Nationals (39-39) vs. New York Mets (32-43)

LHP Ross Detwiler (2-6, 4.18) vs. RHP Matt Harvey (7-1, 2.05)

Following their series victory over NL West-leading Arizona, the Nationals hit the road for a quick, three-game pit stop in New York before heading back to D.C. next week. Ross Detwiler takes the hill against Mets ace Matt Harvey in the series opener as Washington looks to get back above the .500 mark.

NATIONALS LINEUP:

1. Span CF

2. Rendon 2B

3. Zimmerman 3B

4. LaRoche 1B

5. Werth RF

6. Desmond SS

7. Bernadina LF

8. Suzuki C

9. Detwiler LHP

GOOD WOOD, SLICK LEATHER

Ian Desmond leads all Major League shortstops with nine game-winning RBI and 34 extra-base hits (19 doubles, two triples, 13 home runs). Remarkably, 10 of Desmond’s 13 long balls have been go-ahead homers. Defensively, Desmond has played a career-high and D.C.-baseball record 59 consecutive errorless games (235 total chances) as a shortstop since last committing a miscue, April 21 at New York Mets. This is currently the longest streak of its kind among MLB shortstops.

BULL-PENNINGS

In 19 games/62.2 innings dating to the June 8 series opener vs. Minnesota, Jim Lett’s bullpen is 4-4 with seven holds, six saves (zero blown saves), 62 strikeouts and a 1.72 ERA (12 ER/62.2 IP). In that span, the bullpen has lowered its season ERA from 4.06 to 3.46.

BREAKING EVEN

At 39-39, the Nationals currently own a .500 record for a Major League-high 17th time this year (excluding their season-opening 0-0 record). In recent weeks, the Nationals have sported almost methodical 27-27, 28-28, 29-29, 31-31, 32-32, 33-33, 34-34, 36-36, 37-37, 38-38 and 39-39 marks. Minnesota has been at .500 12 times, second-most in baseball.

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