Aug 29, 2014, 5:03 PM EST
On Friday night the Nationals begin a three-game series against the Seattle Mariners with a 10:10 p.m. start time on the East Coast. With the pitching matchup in store, however, this one will be worth the wait.
The Nationals will go up against Mariners superstar Felix Hernandez (13-4, 2.07) for the very first time. The right-hander is the clear frontrunner for AL Cy Young at this point in what is arguably his best season to date. Hernandez leads the majors with an incredible 0.885 WHIP through 191 innings pitched. Even getting baserunners against this guy has been a chore this year.
Only twice in 27 starts this year has Hernandez not recorded an out in the sixth inning. Only once has he allowed more than three earned runs.
Not only have the Nats as a team not faced Felix before, but few players on their roster have ever gone up against him. Of their everyday starting lineup, only Denard Span, Adam LaRoche and Asdrubal Cabrera have had the privilege. Combined they are 5-for-46 (.108) with 16 strikeouts.
The Nats will have one of their own best starters to counter Felix with Jordan Zimmermann (9-5, 2.93) on the mound. Zimmermann will make his 27th start of the year in search for win No. 10.
Beyond the starting pitchers, this weekend will provide one of the Nats’ biggest tests before October. The Mariners are currently tied with the Tigers for the last AL Wild Card spot. Only the L.A. Dodgers have a better record among the Nats’ remaining opponents this season.
We are not in Seattle, but please check back for instant analysis after the game….
WASHINGTON NATIONALS at SEATTLE MARINERS
Where: Safeco Field
Gametime: 10:10 p.m. EDT
TV: CBS-9, MASN2, MLB.tv
Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, XM 869, MLB.com
Weather: Mostly cloudy, 64 degrees, Wind 3 mph
CF Denard Span
3B Anthony Rendon
DH Jayson Werth
1B Adam LaRoche
SS Ian Desmond
LF Bryce Harper
C Wilson Ramos
2B Asdrubal Cabrera
RF Nate Schierholtz
(RHP Jordan Zimmermann)
CF Austin Jackson
LF Dustin Ackley
2B Robinson Cano
DH Kendry Morales
3B Kyle Seager
C Mike Zunino
1B Logan Morrison
SS Chris Taylor
RF Endy Chavez
(RHP Felix Hernandez)
COUNTDOWN TO OPENING DAY
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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