Apr 14, 2011, 2:24 PM EDT
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Jordan Zimmermann faces a stiff challenge tonight against Cliff Lee and the Phillies.
If the Nationals are ever going to "close the gap" (as Jim Riggleman has been saying recently) on the Phillies in the NL East, they're going to have to be able to beat one or two of the elite pitchers the four-time division champs send to the mound on a near-nightly basis.
It's one thing to beat Joe Blanton. It's another to beat Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels.
The Nationals nearly did it to Halladay last night, putting the tying run on second base with one out in the ninth, only to watch as the reigning NL Cy Young Award winner struck out Matt Stairs and Ivan Rodriguez in succession to end the game and seal a 3-2 Phillies victory.
Tonight, they'll have a chance to do it Lee, the pinpoint-throwing lefty who has made only two career starts against the franchise that employed him many moons ago (but, of course, won both starts).
Whether the Nats can put a dent in Lee's usually indestructible armor remains to be seen. Certainly, you can't expect an offensive explosionRead 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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