Aug 2, 2011, 8:30 PM EDT
Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Nationals look to make it four in a row tonight against the Braves.
It's been an up-and-down season for the Nationals, who are suddenly back on an upswing, having won three straight. Two big reasons for that: Rick Ankiel and Jayson Werth, who have each caught fire. Ankiel is hitting .339 with four homers, 10 RBI and a .987 OPS since coming off the DL July 1. Werth, meanwhile, is hitting .333 with a .447 on-base percentage and robust 1.062 OPS over his last 11 games.
Both guys are in the lineup tonight against the Braves, with Ankiel again leading off and Werth batting fifth. John Lannan starts for the Nationals, hoping to pitch deep into the game, but knowing there's a little more help in the bullpen now just in case.
Collin Balester was recalled from Class AAA Syracuse, with Atahualpa Severino getting optioned without having appeared in a game. Balester had been pitching in long relief in Syracuse, and Davey Johnson would like to use him (and Tom Gorzelanny now) in that role in the big leagues.
One other bullpen note: Keep in mind that Drew Storen has pitched three straight days. If the Nats hold a late lead tonight, don't be surprised if someone else (ie. Tyler Clippard) is used in the ninth inning. Updates to come…
BRAVES at NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m.
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 184
Weather: Partly cloudy, 93 degrees, Wind 9 mph out to RF
CF Rick Ankiel
2B Danny Espinosa
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Michael Morse
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.
- Bryce Harper benched in Nats' loss to Cardinals for 'lack of hustle'
- Anthony Rendon error costs Nationals in loss to Cardinals
- Nats activate Denard Span from 7-day DL, option Steven Souza, Jr.
- Zimmermann, Nats look for two in a row vs. Cardinals
- Drew Storen comes through in Nats' 3-1 win over Cardinals
- Nationals respond to Williams' challenge, beat Cards
- Nats strike early on Wacha, beat Cardinals 3-1
- Span to join Nats on Saturday after second rehab game
- Ramos takes first swings since breaking left hand
- Denard Span on track to return to Nats this weekend