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Game 98: Nats at Astros

Jul 20, 2011, 3:37 PM EDT

US Presswire file photo
Livan Hernandez faces Brett Myers in today's series finale at Minute Maid Park.

Remember that remarkable run the Nationals went on in early-to-mid June? You know, when they won 12 of 13 games, seemingly all of them by one run? Well, they've fallen back into a more consistent pattern since then. Basically, they win a game or two, then they lose a game or two.

Indeed, since June 17, the Nats have been no better than two games over .500, nor have they been worse than two games under .500. Consistent mediocrity, I guess you could call it. Which is still a significant improvement from years past, of course.

Today, the Nationals try to get back to the break-even point yet again, needing a win over the Astros to take this series in Houston. Livan Hernandez, who went only four innings in his last start and boasts a 5.27 ERA in his last five outings, needs to get himself back on track. Veteran Brett Myers will face a Nats lineup that is without Ian Desmond or Laynce Nix (both getting a day off to rest nagging ailments).

As you know, I haven't been in Houston for this series. Enjoy the weekday matinee and the back-and-forth conversation as always…

NATIONALS at ASTROS
Where: Minute Maid Park
Gametime: 2:05 p.m.
TV: MASN2
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 185
Weather: Dome (Outside: 91 degrees, Wind 6 mph in from RF)

STARTING LINEUPS
NATIONALS (48-49)
LF Roger Bernadina
2B Danny Espinosa
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Michael Morse

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