Jun 23, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals outfielder Michael Taylor (3) high fives third baseman Yunel Escobar (5) after scoring a run in the third inning against the Atlanta Braves at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
In a case of deja vu, the Washington Nationals (42-34) start another three game series against the Atlanta Braves (36-40) tonight, a mere five days after they finished their last series against each other. The only difference this time will be location of games played, which will be atTurner Field. Some of the pitching matchups will be exactly the same as the series the two teams just finished since both teams have been playing the same schedule since then and both had an off day yesterday before the series starts tonight.
The Nationals swept the Braves in their last series at Nationals Park and the Nats have won eight straight games against Atlanta. . Stephen Strasburg got a win against the Braves in his first game back off the DL–a rarity for him since he usually doesn’t pitch well against the Braves. Strasburg will not be pitching against Atlanta in their home field during this series.
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The Nationals offense has been good enough to win games lately with the strong pitching performances that the starters have been providing for the team. Even with Anthony Rendon back on the DL, and Bryce Harper, Denard Span and Yunel Escobar missing games due to nagging day-to-day injury issues, the team has been churning out runs.
Ian Desmond has been hitting a little better of late. He had two home runs during the Phillies series. Danny Espinosa has been making contact with the ball, but is mired in a 3-for-28 skid. Both of them have been exhibiting anxiousness at the plate with runners on, swinging at first pitches and bad pitches that have not lead to production.
Michael Taylor has been improving at the plate the more he gets to play. He has worked his average up to .253 and has provided some critical hits to score runs or extend innings in the last couple of weeks. Clint Robinson has also improved his average with his increased playing time. He is now batting .272 after beginning the month of June with a .232 average.
The Nationals should be lucky enough to avoid Freddie Freeman again in this series, as he is still on the DL. That is good news for the Nationals, because Freeman has been a one man wrecking crew against Nationals pitchers over the years.
Before tonight’s matchup gets underway, let’s take a look at who has the edge in each pitching matchup this series:
Next: Tonight's Matchup