Aug 6, 2012, 9:00 PM EDT
US Presswire file photo
Minute Maid Park hosts the Nationals the next four nights.
There are no sure things in baseball, where any team can beat any other team on any given day. But as they open a four-game series in Houston tonight, the Nationals probably can't help but believe they should be heavily favored to win each night. The Astros, to put it bluntly, are a train wreck, having blown up their roster over the last month and gone almost entirely with kids in advance of their relocation to the AL next season. This team is 3-21 since July 8.
A Nationals club that opens the final third of the regular season on pace to win 97-98 games will send Edwin Jackson to the mound for the series opener. They'll field what figures to be their regular lineup for the next three weeks or so, with Kurt Suzuki behind the plate, Jayson Werth in the outfield and Danny Espinosa and Steve Lombardozzi manning the middle infield positions.
Though they claimed Cesar Izturis off waivers from the Brewers today, the veteran infielder has not arrived in Houston yet, so the Nats may have to play a man down in this game. Mark DeRosa has been placed on the DL with an abdominal strain.
I'm not in Houston for this series, but I will be heading to Phoenix for this weekend's series. In the meantime, enjoy tonight's game and the conversation…
WASHINGTON NATIONALS at HOUSTON ASTROS
Where: Minute Maid Park
Gametime: 8:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN2, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 185
Weather: Partly cloudy, 88 degrees, Wind 4 mph out to CF
SS Danny Espinosa
CF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
LF Michael Morse
NL EAST STANDINGS
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Orioles at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Mets at Nats, 12:35 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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