What to Watch for: 9.19.13

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Miami Marlins (56-96) vs. Washington Nationals (81-71)

RHP Henderson Alvarez (4-4, 3.97) vs. LHP Gio Gonzalez (10-7, 3.40) 

Washington opens the final homestand of the regular season against the same foe it began the season with back on April 1, the Miami Marlins. Southpaw and Miami native Gio Gonzalez will toe the rubber for the Nationals on his 28th birthday, looking for his 11th win of the 2013 campaign.

NATIONALS LINEUP:

1. Denard Span CF

2. Ryan Zimmerman 3B

3. Jayson Werth RF

4. Bryce Harper LF

5. Ian Desmond SS

6. Adam LaRoche 1B

7. Wilson Ramos C

8. Anthony Rendon 2B

9. Gio Gonzalez LHP

DISTRICT FISH FRY

The Nationals have won all six home contests against the Marlins this season and are 12-3 at home against Miami over the past two years. Washington has also clinched just its second season series win over the Marlins, courtesy of an 11-4 overall record heading into the final four contests between the teams this year. Tonight’s Nationals starter Gio Gonzalez is 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA in two starts (13.0 IP) against Miami this year, while the three announced Marlins starters so far are a combined 0-2 with a 7.27 ERA (14 ER/17.1 IP) in four starts versus Washington.

QUITE A SPAN

Denard Span singled in the seventh inning on Wednesday night to extend his hitting streak to 29 games. He has batted .371/.406/.492 over that stretch, which has included six three-hit games and a four-hit performance. The streak is the longest in Major League Baseball this season and one shy of matching the franchise mark of 30, set by Ryan Zimmerman in 2009.

CATCH SOME Z’S

At the completion of play on September 1, Ryan Zimmerman had hit just 15 home runs through his first 122 games of the season. In his last 16 contests, he’s blasted 10 more, and is currently tied for seventh in the National League with a team-best 25 homers. Zimmerman’s 10 home runs this month are the most in MLB (Hunter Pence, with nine, is the only other player with more than six) and have established a Nationals record for the month of September.

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