The Nationals just completed a series win in the Steel City, taking 2 out of 3 against the Pirates. The Pirates took the first game 3-1, and a lot of Nats fans started to go monkey tilt again.
Before the second game, Davey Johnson gave his team a pep talk. It worked! The Nats took the next 2 games 5-4 and 6-2. Even after a disastrous first inning where Bryce Harper got ejected and Gio Gonzalez gave up a home run to Starling Marte, they didn’t go monkey tilt and won the game with big homers by Danny Espinosa and Tyler Moore.
On the same road trip, the Nats saw Turner Field for the first time with the Upton brothers controlling the big gaps. The Braves had a 5 game winning streak against the Nats entering the third game of the 4 game series. However, the Nats dominated the Braves and won the 3rd and 4th games. Jordan Zimmermann pitched a masterpiece backed by a two run homer by Ian Desmond in the 2nd. He must have been eating a lot of #steak. Denard Span hit 3 doubles in the 4th game.
But now we have a challenge coming. Today the Nationals fly back to DC. One of the Nationals’ biggest enemies, Anibal Sanchez, is flying into DC and getting ready to pitch against 2013 surprise ace Jordan Zimmermann. I thought when Sanchez was traded from the Marlins to the AL that we wouldn’t have to face him again. But here he is in Nationals Park this week, and we may have to face him again when the Nats travel to Detroit to continue the interleague series in late July. And what about the post-season? Man, THAT’S going to depend on who scores first!
Some are calling this week’s short Nats-Tigers series the World Series preview. Loyal fans get to watch Marquee Matchups. Dan Haren and Jordan Zimmermann are squaring off against Anibal Sanchez and Max Scherzer. This is where the season really begins. Competitive games vs. Anibal makes it feel like October. Fortunately, we miss Justin Verlander in this short series (Phew!), but we’re unlucky that we don’t match up against Tigers #5 Rick Porcello. Dan Haren pitched a gem last time, but I hope that Dan Haren doesn’t have the kind of game he did against the Reds (15-0) facing off Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder. That could get ugly real quick! Dan Haren knows these Tigers from the time he spent in the AL as an Angel. For Nats fans, if you can control your emotions, this is going to be great baseball to watch!
TUESDAY NATS GAME
TIGERS @ NATS
ANIBAL SANCHEZ VS. JORDAN ZIMMERMANN
A MARQUEE MATCHUP!
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