The Washington Nationals take on the New York Mets today at 12:10PM looking for a NL East sweep of their division rival. With the 5-2 win over the Mets last night, the Nationals improved to 18 games over .500 with a record of 57-39, tying a franchise record.
Once again, in a story that has become a repetitious fact game in and game out this season, the Nationals got excellent starting pitching to lead them to the win. Gio Gonzalez (13-5) bounced back from an off-start last week, throwing 7 innings of 2 hit ball, allowing just 1 unearned run, while fanning 3. Gonzalez lowered his season ERA to 3.13. Sean Burnett pitched a scoreless 8th inning, while Tyler Clippard closed out the win for his 17th save of the season.
Adam LaRoche hit his 17th home run of the season and went 2 for 3, driving in 2 runs. The hot bat of Ryan Zimmerman continued at the plate, going 3 for 5 with a double and a run scored. In the month of July, Zimmerman has 33 hits in 80 plate appearances, a whopping .412 batting average. His three hits last night extended his current hitting streak to 8 games. During his current streak, he has racked up 16 hist in 33 at bats. His three hit night was also his 3rd 3 hit game in his last 6 games.
Zimmerman is not the only hit hitter at the plate for the Nationals. Danny Espinosa and Roger Bernadina each had two hits apiece. Espinosa has hovered just above .200 for most of the season, but his latest tear has improved his average to .252. His two-hit performance last night extended his current hitting streak to 10 games. During the stretch, Espinosa is 17 for 40 with 4 doubles and a triple. He has also drive in 6 runs. Just like Zimmerman, the month of July has been quite good to Espinosa, as he has collected 26 hits in 74 appearances for a July batting average of .351. Bernadina extended his current hitting streak to five games last night. Bernadina is 11 for 20 in his last five games with 4 of those five games being multi-hit performances. Bernadina has raised his overall batting average to .295.
Despite the hot bats of Zimmerman, Espinosa, and Bernadina, that's not it. How about Mike Morse? Morse has raised his overall batting average to .296. Morse has hit a solid .292 in the month of July with 24 hits in 82 at bats. He ha shad 5 multi-hit games, including three 3-hit games.
Washington will look for the series sweep today and send Stephen Strasburg to the mound. Strasburg is 10-4 on the season with a 2.85 ERA. He leads the Nationals League in strikeouts with 140. Strasburg will face Jeremy Hefner, who is 1-3 with a 5.85 ERA.
Current Nationals Streaks:
* Danny Espinosa has a TEN game hitting streak.
* Ryan Zimmerman has an EIGHT game hitting streak. Zimmerman has scored a run in THREE straight games.
* Roger Bernadina has a FIVE game hitting streak.
* Mike Morse has a THREE game hitting streak and a THREE game run scoring streak.
* Adam LaRoche has a THREE game hitting streak