Washington Nationals: Five To Watch Versus St. Louis Cardinals

rjuckett
Apr 9, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Washington Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman (11) celebrates his game-tying, pinch-hit three run home run during the ninth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies defeated the Nationals, 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 9, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Washington Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman (11) celebrates his game-tying, pinch-hit three run home run during the ninth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies defeated the Nationals, 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports /
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DEXTER FOWLER

It was a slow start for Dexter Fowler last week. The new centerfielder, fresh off his world championship with the Chicago Cubs, hit .174 and struck out seven times against his old mates and the Cincinnati Reds.

The first week of 2017 was not the ideal start for St. Louis. Starting at home, they went 2-4 and were pummeled Sunday by the Reds 8-0. It is an east coast trip for St. Loo with three against the Mets to follow their time in DC.

For Fowler, the mixed feelings of playing against his old team now turns to the grind of the long road ahead. He did not have the worst week at the plate, Jhonny Peralta and Randal Grichuk take those honors while Stephen Piscotty still is getting beaned by baseballs.

As the shiny new free agent, Fowler needs to produce at a level where the Cardinals expect him. An All-Star last year with the Cubs, he must return to his .276 batting average, double-digit power and stolen bases. The good news for the Nats is he strikes out often. Shut him down and good things happen.

Fowler has a good history against Washington. In 48 games, he has three homers with 16 RBI. The slash line of .287/.365/.474 is not shabby either.

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