The NL East-leading Washington Nationals (20-12) will take the field on Saturday night hoping to repeat the offensive performance of Friday evening, but may have to do so without phenom Bryce Harper. Washington scored seven runs in defeating the Cincinnati Reds 7-3, but Harper required ten stitches after a bat he smashed against a wall hit him under the left eye.
The Nationals seven run outburst is amazingly just two less total runs than the team has scored for Saturday's starter Jordan Zimmermann all year. The young right-hander has received zero or one run in five of his six starts, making his record just 1-2 despite a stellar 2.29 ERA. In his career, Zimmermann is 1-0 with a 2.12 ERA in three starts against the Reds.
Cincinnati (16-15) will counter with prized offseason acquisition Mat Latos (2-2, 4.93 ERA) on the bump. Latos struggled out of the gate this season, but seems to have righted the ship after a 11 strikeout, six inning win over the Pittsburgh Pirates last weekend. Latos is 3-1 with a 2.43 ERA in five career starts against Washington.
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