Nats Sweep Sox and Head North of the Border
June 11, 2012 in Uncategorized
The Nationals (35-23) came into Fenway Park on Friday night having never one a game in Boston in franchise history. Not even the Expos found success in one game at the historic venue. Well, now the Nats have three wins under their belt as they swept the Red Sox (29-31) this weekend behind phenomenal outings from Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, and Jordan Zimmermann. Bryce Harper even flourished in his Fenway debut hitting a three-run bomb on Friday. All in all it was a memorable weekend for the first place Nationals.
Tonight the Nats stay in the AL East but head north of the border to the Rogers Centre in Toronto to take on the Blue Jays (31-29). Tonight's matchup will feature Edwin Jackson (2-3, 3.11) versus the Blue Jays most steady pitcher this year Brandon Morrow (7-3, 2.90). Tomorrow Chien-Ming Wang (1-2, 5.11) will take the hill to face Henderson Alvarez (3-5, 3.76). The series finale will feature two talented youngsters in Nat's ace Stephen Strasburg (7-1, 2.41) and Kyle Drabek (4-6, 4.43), who was the main piece in the Phillies' trade for former Blue Jays' ace Roy Halladay. It's a shame that Strasburg gets the finale for this series because it means he will not pitch in the Nats showdown with the New York Yankees at Nationals Park this weekend.
Staying at an AL East venue of course means that Nationals can continue to use Michael Morse as the designated hitter. This is also good news for recently called up Tyler Moore, who had a stellar series in Boston where he had three hits, three runs, and two stolen bases in two starts. Also, look for rookie sensation Bryce Harper to be back in the field after sitting out most of Sunday's game as a precaution for his back.
The Blue Jays are not hitting for a high average this year but Nats' pitchers will need to avoid the power bats of Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion. The two sluggers have combined for 34 home runs and 88 RBIs already this season. They trail only Josh Hamilton and Curtis Granderson in the AL in home runs. With the Nats generally playing in tight games they will need to proceed with caution when pitching to the two Blue Jays power hitters.