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Game 97: Nats at Mets

Jul 25, 2012, 3:00 PM EDT

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Stephen Strasburg starts today's series finale at Citi Field.

NEW YORK — Does the date July 5, 2005 mean anything to you? It should, because it was a milestone day in Nationals history. With a 3-2 victory over the Mets at RFK Stadium that evening, the Nats improved to 51-32. They haven't been 19 games over .500 since.

Today, they have the opportunity to get back to that high-water mark as they seek a sweep of the same Mets, this time at Citi Field. And who better to send to the mound for such a game than Stephen Strasburg, who undoubtedly is motivated to rebound from his last start in which he helped instigate that blown 9-0 lead against the Braves. There may be no pitcher in baseball teams would rather not have to face than Strasburg coming off a shaky outing. He's given up four or more earned runs only four times in his career; his ERA the start after he gave up those runs: 1.06.

Only one change to Davey Johnson's lineup from last night: Sandy Leon will be behind the plate. Jesus Flores (who has been dealing with a stiff back) came out of last night's game fine, and he made a couple of nice plays in the process, but Johnson didn't want to take his chances throwing Flores back out there after a short turnaround.

We've got a really early, 12:10 p.m. start today. If you're stuck in the office and can't watch, you're in luck — plenty of updates and analysis to come right here…

WASHINGTON NATIONALS at NEW YORK METS
Where: Citi Field
Gametime: 1:10 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 184
Weather: Sunny, 80 degrees, Wind 9 mph LF to RF

NATIONALS (57-39)
2B Steve Lombardozzi
RF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche

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NL EAST STANDINGS

WLGB
WASHINGTON2417
NEW YORK24180.5
ATLANTA20203.5
PHILADELPHIA18257.0
MIAMI16268.5
*Through Thursday's games

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