What to Watch for: 8.20.13

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Washington Nationals (60-64) vs. Chicago Cubs (54-70)

RHP Dan Haren (7-11, 4.79) vs. LHP Chris Rusin (2-2, 3.06)

Washington takes on the North Siders in the second of a four-game set at Wrigley Field. The Nationals send veteran righty Dan Haren – who leads Nationals starters in wins (three), batting average against (.174) and ERA (2.45) since the All-Star break – against Cubs lefty Chris Rusin. Haren has allowed just three home runs in 44.0 innings since coming off the disabled list, but will face a tough test with the wind blowing out on a warm night in Chicago.


1. Bryce Harper CF

2. Ian Desmond SS

3. Ryan Zimmerman 3B

4. Jayson Werth RF

5. Wilson Ramos C

6. Tyler Moore 1B

7. Anthony Rendon 2B

8. Scott Hairston LF

9. Dan Haren RHP


Ian Desmond’s 52 extra-base hits (33 doubles, two triples, 17 home runs) pace all big league shortstops. The 52 XBH are 10 more than any other MLB shortstop (Troy Tulowitzki, 42). Furthermore, with 33 in the bag, Desmond’s next double will establish a new career high (also 33 in 2012).


Drew Storen has been sharp since his return from his stint at Triple-A Syracuse. The righty pitched an inning in all three games of the Atlanta series, allowing a single hit without a walk or a run scored while striking out five of the 10 batters he has faced.


The Rookie-level Gulf Coast League Nationals are a stunning 43-8 (.843) this season, which began June 21. The .557 overall winning percentage (379-302) posted by the Nationals Minor League system ranks fourth among MLB’s 30 franchises, behind only San Francisco (.569), Houston (.568) and Texas (.560).

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