What to Watch for: 7.20.13
Los Angeles Dodgers (48-47) vs. Washington Nationals (48-48)
RHP Zack Greinke (8-2, 3.49) vs. LHP Gio Gonzalez (7-3, 3.03)
The Nationals started the second half of their season behind their ace Stephen Strasburg, who tossed his 12th quality start of the season but did not factor in the decision on Friday night. Tonight the team looks to get back in the win column as they send Gio Gonzalez to the hill against one Donald Zackary Greinke. Greinke carries a five-game winning streak into the matchup, while Gonzalez has won four straight, but has not lost since May 27.
1. Span CF
2. Rendon 2B
3. Zimmerman 3B
4. Harper LF
5. Werth RF
6. Desmond SS
7. Tracy 1B
8. Ramos C
9. Gonzalez LHP
At 48-48, the Nationals currently own a .500 record for the 20th time this year (excluding season-opening 0-0 record). Recently, the Nationals have sported methodical 27-27, 28-28, 29-29, 31- 31, 32-32, 33-33, 34-34, 36-36, 37-37, 38-38, 39-39, 40-40, 42-42, 47-47 and now 48-48 records.
Ian Desmond has hit safely in second consecutive games, going 10-for-29 (.345) with three walks, two doubles and one RBI. Desmond has already posted a pair of double-digit hit streaks this season: 15 games (career high, May 27-June 13) and 10 games (April 24-May 3). Defensively, Desmond has posted a .988 fielding percentage in 77 games at shortstop dating to April 22, second-best in the National League.
The Nationals have not homered in their last five games or since blasting four solo home runs in a 5-1 victory on July 10 at PHI. The five-game homer drought is the Nationals longest since Sept 12-16, 2011 (five games). Washington last went as many as six games without a long ball June 1-6, 2010.