What to Watch for: 9.2.13

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Washington Nationals (69-67) vs. Philadelphia Phillies (62-75)

RHP Stephen Strasburg (6-9, 2.96) vs. LHP Cole Hamels (6-13, 3.58)

The Nationals staved off a sweep with a three-run eighth inning to complete a 6-5, come-from-behind win over the Mets to help them close back within 6.5 games of the final postseason spot with 26 games remaining in the regular season. Washington hits the road for a crucial 10-game swing through Philadelphia (3), Miami (3) and New York (4) beginning tonight. Stephen Strasburg and Cole Hamels match up in the series opener at Citizens Bank Park.

NATIONALS LINEUP:

1. Bryce Harper CF

2. Scott Hairston LF

3. Ryan Zimmerman 3B

4. Jayson Werth RF

5. Ian Desmond SS

6. Adam LaRoche 1B

7. Wilson Ramos C

8. Anthony Rendon 2B

9. Stephen Strasburg RHP

A WERTH-Y NAME ENTERS NL BATTING CHASE

After missing 28 games earlier this season due to a right hamstring strain, Jayson Werth finally appears among National League batting leaders. Werth’s .323 batting average currently ranks fourth in the Senior Circuit and trails only Michael Cuddyer (.328), Chris Johnson (.329) and Yadier Molina (.333).

ATTENTION SPAN

Denard Span has hit safely in a career-high 15 straight games at a .407 (24-for-59) clip with five walks, two doubles, two triples, a homer, eight runs scored and 5 RBI, Span’s surge has raised his batting average from .258 to .275. This marks the fifth double-digit hit streak of Span’s career. The longest streak posted by a Nationals player in ‘13: Adam LaRoche, 16 games (May 2-19).

BETTER BALL

At 17-11 (.607), the Nationals have the NL’s 3rd-best record in since August 1st…a closer look:

1. Dodgers: 24-6 (.800)

2. Braves: 20-8 (.714)

3. Nationals: 17-11 (.607)

2 Comments

The reason for the Nats failure this season can be squarely placed on Davey Johnson’s shoulders. From Spring Training on he did not emphasize fundamentals and he did not emphasize physical conditioning. The Nats simply ran out of gas the last two nights as can be clearly noted from the abbreviated performances of Ross Ohlendorf, Stephen Strasburg and most notably Tyler Clipperd. This is Davey Johnson’s fault completely, absolutely and without a doubt. The Nationals were never properly prepared for the season and they were never welded into a true team structure which is the fundamental duty of the Manager and Head Coach.
Davey Johnson must go and good riddance.

Harold G. Pavel

The Nats are done this year. They are only good for weekend picnic’s for the rest of the season as far as those who might want to go to the park.

Watch carefully of who Mike Rizzo hires in terms of a on the field Manager and Head Coach and who he hires as a bona fide hitting coach who will teach the Nats to hit left handed pitching. Guaranteed, those two hires will be critical for the Nats success in the future.

Harold G. Pavel

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