What to Watch for: 7.23.13

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Pittsburgh Pirates (58-39) vs. Washington Nationals (48-51)

 RHP Gerrit Cole (4-3, 3.89) vs. RHP Taylor Jordan (0-2, 3.32)

The Nationals continue their homestand with a battle of two right-handed rookies, as Taylor Jordan and Gerrit Cole square off in D.C. Jordan is still in search of his first Major League win, despite pitching well thus far.

NATIONALS LINEUP:

1. Harper LF

2. Rendon 2B

3. Zimmerman 3B

4. LaRoche 1B

5. Werth RF

6. Desmond SS

7. Span CF

8. Ramos C

9. Jordan RHP

WERTH-WHILE READING

By homering twice on both Monday vs. Pittsburgh and Sunday vs. Los Angeles, Jayson Werth became the first National (2005-present) to hit two home runs in consecutive games. The last franchise player to accomplish this feat: Expos outfielder Vladimir Guerrero, September 17-18, 2000. Werth is batting .322 (48-for-147) with 20 walks, seven doubles, 10 home runs, 25 runs scored, 29 RBI, and a .402 OBP in 41 games since returning from the DL (right hamstring) on June 4. Werth’s 1.152 OPS in July ranks third in the NL behind only Hanley Ramirez (1.197) and Andrew McCutchen (1.118).

NATIONALS FACE ANOTHER ROOKIE

Gerrit Cole will be the 12th different rookie starter the Nationals have faced this season (the other 11: Tony Cingrani, Robbie Erlin, Jose Fernandez, Kevin Gausman, Donovan Hand, Shelby Miller, Wily Peralta, Jonathan Pettibone, Burch Smith, Julio Teheran (faced three times) and Zack Wheeler. Washington is 6-7 when facing these rookie starters in 2013.

SPAN’S FANS

As he does once every month during the season, Nationals center fielder Denard Span hosted his “Span’s Fans” event before the team took on the Pirates. Span’s Fans is a season-long program that treats children from single-parent families to a day of Nationals baseball. The group will enjoyed a private meet and greet with Span as well as a special batting practice viewing and tickets to the game, complete with NatsBucks.

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