Jun 26, 2012, 8:56 PM EDT
US Presswire file photo
The Nats try to bounce back tonight in Game 2 of 4 at Coors Field.
They've lost seven of 10, during which time they've scored an average of 2.5 runs per game while posting a collective .558 OPS. (If they were one individual player, that would rank 163rd of 164 qualifying major-league hitters, ahead of only Kurt Suzuki.) Yet the Nationals arrive at Coors Field this evening still holding a 3 1/2-game lead in the NL East over both the Braves and Mets, the second-largest lead of any of baseball's six first-place clubs.
Make no mistake, though: The Nats need to start hitting. They know this, and they know they've been presented a great opportunity to start clicking offensively this week in the mile-high air of Denver, against a Rockies pitching staff that owns the majors' worst ERA (5.29) by leaps and bounds.
They couldn't make a dent into Jeff Francis or Josh Roenicke last night. They'll attempt to do it tonight against rookie left-hander Christian Friedrich (who has lost his last three starts) and whatever reliever Rockies manager Jim Tracy plucks from his bullpen around the fifth or sixth inning.
Gio Gonzalez, meanwhile, seeks to accomplish what Stephen Strasburg could not last night: Earn his 10th win of the season. As you know, I'm not in Colorado for this series, but please continue the conversation below, and I'll even attempt to chime in with some of my own thoughts during the game…
WASHINGTON NATIONALS at COLORADO ROCKIES
Where: Coors Field
Gametime: 8:40 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN2, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 189
Weather: Mostly cloudy, 91 degrees, Wind 10 mph LF to RF
2B Danny Espinosa
CF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
RF Michael Morse
NL EAST STANDINGS
SUN: Nats at Phillies, 1:35 p.m.
MON: All-Star break
TUE: All-Star Game at Minneapolis, 8 p.m.
WED: All-Star break
THU: All-Star break
FRI: Brewers at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Brewers at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
Full season schedule
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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