Nationals Game Notes: June 20 at Los Angeles Dodgers

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Washington Nationals (43-27) at Los Angeles Dodgers (38-33)
RHP Stephen Strasburg [10-0, 2.90] | LHP Clayton Kershaw [10-1, 1.58]
Monday, June 20 l Game #71 / Road #39 l Dodger Stadium l Los Angeles, C.A. l 7:10 P.M.
Television: MASN2/ESPN l Radio: 106.7 The Fan & Nationals Radio Network

CALIFORNIA DREAMIN’
The Nationals will begin the second leg of their current three-city, 10-game, 11-day trek Monday night in Los Angeles…Washington split a four-game series with the San Diego Padres over the weekend to open this road trip 2-2…After three games here in L.A., the Nationals will travel east to Milwaukee for a weekend set.

  • Washington has won seven of its last 10, 10 of its last 14, and 14 of its last 20 games, playing at a .700 clip since May 29…The Nationals have built a National League East division lead from zero to 5.5 games in that span…During this stretch, Washington is averaging 5.9 runs per game and is outscoring opponents, 118-84.
  • At 43-27 (.614), the Nationals have posted their best record through 70 games in club history (2005-pres.), and matched the 1979 Expos for the best record in franchise history.
  • The Nationals also boast the third-best record in the National League, behind only the San Francisco Giants (44-26, .629) and the Chicago Cubs (47-20, .701)…Washington’s 43-27 record is also tied for the fourth-best record in the Major Leagues, behind the Giants, Texas Rangers (45-25, .643) and the Cubs.

RESPECT THE A.
Nationals CF Michael A. Taylor put together one of the best games of his young career on Sunday afternoon, going 4-for-4 with two home runs, a double, two RBI and two runs scored at Petco Park…Taylor’s first home run, on the game’s very first pitch, was his third leadoff home run of the season and fifth of his career…His second made Sunday the first multi-homer game of his career…Taylor had posted four hits in a game only once previously, July 25, 2015 at PIT.

  • According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Taylor is just the third player in franchise history (Nationals/Expos) to produce four or more hits in a game, including at least two homers, from the leadoff spot…Taylor joined esteemed company in doing so, adding his name to a list that includes Hall-of-Famer Andre Dawson (1979) and Alfonso Soriano (2006).

POWERHOUSE PITCHING
RHP Stephen Strasburg takes his 10-0 record and his personal 13-game winning streak (dating to Sept. 15, 2015) into Monday night’s match-up with the Los Angeles Dodgers…The 13-game streak is a franchise best (Nationals Expos) and matches RHP Stan Coveleski (5/9/1925 – 7/26/1925) & RHP Walter Johnson (7/15/1924 – 9/22/1924) for the third-longest by a starting pitcher in D.C.-baseball history.

  • The other side of Monday night’s pitching match-up is no slouch, either, as Washington will face Dodgers ace LHP Clayton Kershaw, who is 10-1 on the season…According to STATS, LLC., no other National League pitching match-up in over 100 years has featured two starting pitchers with double-digit win totals facing off this early (by date) in a season…The previous earliest date it happened in the NL was when LAD LHP Sandy Koufax (10-2) and CIN RHP Bob Purkey (12-1) met on June 22, 1962.

NO SINISTROPHOBIA HERE
The Nationals, who have faced just 14 left-handed starting pitchers this season, are in the midst of a stretch in which they’ll face four consecutive lefty starters, which started Sunday in San Diego…As a team, the Nationals are batting .271 against left-handed pitching this season, and their 25 home runs off southpaws are tied for the third-most in the National League.

  • Nationals 2B Daniel Murphy picked up his National League-best 29th multi-hit game of the season on Friday night with a double and a home run off SDP LHP Christian Friedrich…The home run was Murphy’s 12th of the year, but it was his first against a left-handed pitcher this season…Against left-handed pitching in 2016, Murphy is hitting .329…With his two hits on Friday night, Murphy is now batting an even .400 (62-for-155) (vs. RHP & LHP) in Nationals victories this year.
  • Murphy leads MLB in batting average (.358)…He leads the NL and ranks among MLB hitters in multi-hit games (T2nd, 29), OPS (2nd, .995), and hits (3rd, 92) while his .399 on-base percentage is 12th in MLB and eighth in the National League.

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