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Game 71: Nats at Rockies

Jun 25, 2012, 10:40 PM EDT

US Presswire file photo
Coors Field hosts Stephen Strasburg and the Nationals tonight.

Stephen Strasburg has never pitched at Coors Field before, but he has pitched at high altitude. This is a guy, remember, who played in the Mountain West Conference while at San Diego State and appeared plenty of times in Colorado and Utah. Still, it will be interesting to see how the altitude affects Strasburg tonight, if at all, especially his curveball.

The Rockies' starter is Jeff Francis, a veteran left-hander who was at one point the ace of this staff but these days is struggling both to stay healthy and effective. Don't look for Francis to throw more than 85 pitches; Colorado manager Jim Tracy is experimenting with a four-man rotation, a move that requires each starter to avoid triple-digit pitch counts.

Sounds like a golden opportunity for a Nationals lineup that desperately could use a breakout game. Ryan Zimmerman is again batting third, with Michael Morse right behind him. Tyler Moore, meanwhile, starts in left field, and with today's move to place Xavier Nady on the DL (while activating Mark DeRosa) don't be surprised if Moore gets even more playing time.

I'm not in Denver for this week's series, so please enjoy the game and the conversation here as always…

WASHINGTON NATIONALS at COLORADO ROCKIES
Where: Coors Field
Gametime: 8:40 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 188
Weather: Clear, 95 degrees, Wind 12 mph out to CF

NATIONALS (41-29)
2B Danny Espinosa
CF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
RF Michael Morse

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NEW YORK27221.5
ATLANTA23255.0
MIAMI19309.5
PHILADELPHIA193110.0
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