Series Preview: Nationals @ Padres

DC Sports Nexus ---- Thursday, May 16, 2013

Pitching Matchups, Times, & TV Listings

Thursday, May 16th, 10:10PM - Stephen Strasburg v. Edinson Volquez
Friday, May 17th, 10:10PM – Gio Gonzalez v. Burch Smith
Saturday, May 18th, 8:40PM – Jordan Zimmerman v. Eric Stults
Sunday, May 19th, 4:10PM – Dan Haren v. Andrew Cashner

The Nationals are continuing their West Coast swing as they now head to San Diego to face the Padres in a four game series.  The Nationals are coming off a series loss to the Dodgers, and may be facing more injury problems.  The offense was present in Los Angeles, as they spread out 24 hits over the course of the series.  The pitching staff will also look to continue its good form, giving up only 7 runs in the previous series.

Series Preview

With more injury problems creating obstacles for the Nationals, they still have yet to be able to find their best form.  They will, however, get to face a few players on the Padres that are inexperienced.  This will allow the Nationals to ease their way through a tough period of injuries.

Two of the probable starters for the Padres have only started 6 combined games in this season, one of those starts only lasted an inning.  Burch Smith allowed 5 hits and walked 2, which lead to the Tampa Bay Rays scoring 6 runs in the first inning off of him.  The Nationals will hope they can have a similar result.  Cashner has only started 5 games, after starting the season in the bullpen.  Stults and Vazquez have been in the rotation for the whole season, but they have ERAs of 4.57 and 5.15 respectively.

The Nationals offense has been hot recently, which will mix well with the struggling pitching staff of San Diego.  Adam LaRoche is finally swinging the bat like he knows he can, and Ian Desmond has been emerging as the leader of the team.  Expect this lineup to stay hot throughout the series, making a run for a sweep.

  •  Jayson Werth will attempt to return to the ball club on Friday, after getting a few more at-bats in a rehab start Thursday night.
  • Wilson Ramos is expected to be heading back to the DL, while Ross Detwiler may have to miss a start having tightness in his back during his start on Wednesday.

Song of the Series:  Centerfield by John Fogerty

This is one of the classic baseball songs that is played in every stadium for every game, telling the story of a young man who just loves the game of baseball.  This is a song that could be applied to many of the Nationals players, as the team is full of youth and the joy of baseball.  Bryce Harper, Jordan Zimmermann, Ian Desmond, all guys that just go out there and give it 100% all the time.  So listen to this American classic, and think of your Washington Nationals.

Matchup of the Series: Edinson Volquez v. Early Innings

Edinson Volquez has been notoriously bad in the early innings in his career.  He has had two starts this year in which he hasn’t made it out of the fourth inning.  However, in his last 2 starts he has only given up 7 hits and 3 runs in 12.2 combined innings.  If the Nationals can get him off to a bad start, expect the offense to be able to stay hot throughout the rest of the game, and the rest of the series.

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