Nationals Vs. Diamondbacks: Washington Looks To Break Out Of Desert Drought

Washington looks for a strong performance from Jason Marquis on the hill and any semblance of offense from the bats to prevent a third consecutive shutout at the hands of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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Nationals Vs. Diamondbacks: Washington Looks To Break Out Of Desert Drought

The Washington Nationals (25-33) have been held scoreless in their last two contests with the NL West-leading Arizona Diamondbacks (33-26), losing 4-0 Friday evening and 2-0 Saturday night, mustering just seven hits total in the two games. Washington has now been shut out nine times this season.

Jason Marquis (6-2, 4.13 ERA) is on the hill for Jim Riggleman's club, and given how the bats have performed so far in 2011, he basically needs to hold Arizona scoreless. Which, given his past history against the Diamondbacks, seems unlikely. Marquis is 2-7 in 12 career starts versus Arizona, and has never won at Chase Field.

Early season surprise Ian Kennedy (6-2, 3.16 ERA) is on the mound for the Diamondbacks. Cast aside by the New York Yankees after the 2009 season, Kennedy has been a key cog in an Arizona pitching staff that has compiled a 3.08 ERA over their last 22 games (18-4 in that span).

Roger Bernadina and Laynce Nix get the start today against the right hander Kennedy, and Wilson Ramos will catch back-to-back games for skipper Jim Riggleman. Bernandina continues the almost daily switch of lead off hitters, bringing to mind the expression "shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic".

The Nationals Line-up

1. Roger Bernadina, CF

2. Ian Desmond, SS

3. Jayson Werth, RF

4. Laynce Nix, LF

5. Michael Morse, 1B

6. Danny Espinosa, 2B

7. Wilson Ramos, C

8. Alex Cora, 3B

9. Jason Marquis, SP

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