Apr 15, 2012, 2:38 PM EDT
Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Nationals seek a four-game sweep of the Reds and a six-game winning streak.
We've focused so much on the Nationals' pitching staff through the season's first week-plus, and with good reason. Steve McCatty's group leads all of baseball with a 1.82 ERA, 0.952 WHIP and 88 strikeouts. But let's not entirely dump on the Nats' lineup, which may not be scoring runs in bunches but is producing at a significantly higher rate than we've been accustomed to around here.
For example, did you know the Nationals' team on-base percentage this morning is .342, third-best in the majors behind the Red Sox and Cardinals? That ain't shabby, and obviously represents a huge increase over last year's .309 mark (MLB rank: 25th). The problem hasn't been getting guys on base; it's been getting them in. The Nats are scoring only 3.78 runs per game so far (21st in the majors).
So we'll see whether today's lineup can continue to reach base at such a high clip and perhaps actually score at a higher rate, giving starter Ross Detwiler a little bit of cushion as he takes the mound in search of the Nationals' sixth straight victory.
Updates and analysis to come all afternoon…
CINCINNATI REDS at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 1:35 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN2, Ch. 50, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 189
Weather: Mostly sunny, 82 degrees, Wind 11 mph out to RF
SS Ian Desmond
2B Danny Espinosa
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche
NLDS: NATIONALS VS. GIANTS
SAT: Game 2 at Washington, 5:37 p.m. (FS1)
MON: Game 3 at San Francisco, TBA (MLBN)
TUE: Game 4 at San Francisco, TBA (FS1)*
THU: Game 5 at Washington, TBA (FS1)*
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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