The Washington Nationals begin a ten game road trip tonight at Busch Stadium against the Cardinals
It was a rough end to the homestand for the Washington Nationals (14-7). After sweeping the Minnesota Twins, the Nats ended up being swept by the Philadelphia Phillies and they have not scored a run in 22 innings. Plus, they wasted good pitching performances by Gio Gonzalez and Tanner Roark.
The Washington Nationals were able to take advantage of the easy part of their schedule, but now the tough portion begins with a ten game road trip. The first stop on the road trip is at Busch Stadium where they will take on the St. Louis Cardinals (12-10).
The Cardinals split a four game series against the Diamondbacks this week and are five games behind the Cubs in the NL Central. However, Mike Matheny’s club has scored the most runs (137) of any team in the National League. Plus, they are second for home runs (33) and second in batting average (.276).
While shortstop Jhonny Peralta is on the disabled list because of a thumb injury, his replacement, Aledmys Diaz, is hitting .446 with four home runs, 13 RBI’s, and has a .785 slugging percentage (one point behind Bryce Harper). St. Louis is a team with a couple veterans like catcher Yadier Molina and third baseman Matt Carpenter (team lead in RBI’s – 16), but they also have good young outfielders such as Stephen Piscotty (.302, four home runs, 15 RBI’s) and rookie Jeremy Hazelbaker (team-high five home runs).
On the mound, St. Louis’ starters have a 4.15 ERA (sixth in the NL), but their ace Adam Wainwright is off to a difficult start. Wainwright, who is not pitching in this series, is 1-3 with a 7.16 ERA in his first five outings. In the bullpen, closer Trevor Rosenthal is 5-for-5 in save chances, but keep an eye on rookie reliever Seung-hwan Oh, who has struck out 19 batters in his first 11 innings (1.50 ERA).
With that being said, here is my breakdown of the three pitching matchups in this series:
Next: Tonight's Matchup