Jul 25, 2014, 3:22 PM EDT
It’s hard to believe even while typing this that the Nationals are playing their 100th game of the season tonight. But here we are, as the Nats begin a three-game series with the injury-depleted Cincinnati Reds on Friday.
The Reds are a game above .500 at 51-50, but many of their biggest names are currently out due to injuries. Joey Votto will not play, as he is on the disabled list with a left quadriceps injury. Brandon Phillips is out recovering from left thumb surgery.
What’s left is still a talented team, however, and tonight the Nats will face one of the NL’s best pitchers in Alfredo Simon (12-4, 2.74). The 2014 All-Star has helped lead the Reds to victory in seven of his last eight starts.
Simon beat the Nats this year on May 21 with seven innings of one-run ball. That was his only career start against the Nationals, but in 11 total appearances holds a 2.14 ERA vs. the franchise.
Tanner Roark (9-6, 2.91) will take the mound for Washington. He also pitched in that May 21 game and took the loss despite giving up just two runs (one earned) in six innings of work. That was the only time he has faced Cincinnati.
The Nats’ lineup today includes Zach Walters at second base for the first time in his major league career. He has played there in 38 minor league games, posting a .979 fielding percentage with four errors. We’ll see what he’s got.
Mark and I are not in Ohio for this series, so please check back for analysis in the morning…
WASHINGTON NATIONALS at CINCINNATI REDS
Where: Great American Ball Park
Gametime: 7:10 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, 1580 AM, XM 869, MLB.com
Weather: Partly cloudy, 82 degrees, Wind 4 mph out to CF
CF Denard Span
3B Anthony Rendon
RF Jayson Werth
1B Adam LaRoche
SS Ian Desmond
RF Bryce Harper
C Wilson Ramos
2B Zach Walters
RHP Tanner Roark
CF Billy Hamilton
2B Skip Schumaker
3B Todd Frazier
LF Ryan Ludwick
RF Jay Bruce
C Devin Mesoraco
1B Brayan Pena
SS Zack Cozart
RHP Alfredo Simon
HP Mark Carlson
1B Jeff Nelson
2B Toby Basner
3B Laz Diaz
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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