Jul 18, 2011, 9:00 PM EDT
US Presswire file photo
Minute Maid Park hosts the Nationals for the next three days.
After an eventful weekend in Atlanta that featured both positives and negatives, the Nationals continue their road trip in Houston, where the Astros boast the majors' worst record and have lost 16 of 19. Quite simply, this is the kind of series the Nats have to win if they've truly made that all-important leap into the fringes of contention.
Davey Johnson fields his regular lineup, with Wilson Ramos back behind the plate after getting yesterday off and Laynce Nix in left field. He's also got an important bench piece back, with Jerry Hairston activated off the DL after missing three weeks with a fractured wrist.
The Astros send rookie Jordan Lyles (a promising right-hander) to the mound for his ninth career start. Lyles, a first-round pick in 2008, is still in search of his first big-league win.
I'm not on the rest of this road trip, but please keep the conversation going as always here…
NATIONALS at ASTROS
Where: Minute Maid Park
Gametime: 8:05 p.m.
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 185
Weather: Partly cloudy, 89 degrees, Wind 9 mph out to LF
CF Roger Bernadina
2B Danny Espinosa
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Michael Morse
NL EAST STANDINGS
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As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 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: 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
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