May 26, 2010, 5:30 PM EDT
Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Nyjer Morgan needs to get on base for the Nats to have a chance tonight.
SAN FRANCISCO — The Nationals may not face a stiffer challenge all season than they will tonight, with two-time Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum on the mound for the Giants against rookie right-hander Luis Atilano. Lincecum is as good as anyone in the sport right now, and he enters this one with a 5-0 record, 2.35 ERA and a ridiculous 75 strikeouts in 61 1/3 innings. Atilano, meanwhile, has begun to look human after his out-of-nowhere arrival last month. He's allowed nine earned runs in his last 9 1/3 innings and has put 20 men on base during that span.
So we might as well write this one off, right? Well, maybe not. There's no such thing as a sure thing in baseball, where any team can legitimately beat any other team on any given night. Lincecum has taken the loss in 17 of his 99 career games. He's going to lose No. 18 eventually. Why not tonight?
So it's a bit implausible, but certainly not out of the realm of possibility. Here, then, are five reasons the Nats COULD win tonight's game…
1. The Nats own Tim Lincecum. OK, that may be exaggerating it a bit. The guy is a career 1-0 with a 1.77 ERA against Washington. But Lincecum did have a sub-par (by his lofty standards) outing against the Nationals last June, allowing four runs (two earned) on eight hits in 6 1/3 innings. The Nats proceeded to win that game 10-6 thanks toRead more »
NL EAST STANDINGS
TUE: Nats at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Dodgers, 3:10 p.m.
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Braves at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
Full season schedule
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.
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