The Washington Nationals are taking their NL-leading three-game win streak on the road to the City of the Gateway Arch to take on the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. The Nats spent the past weekend completing a three-game sweep of the Milwaukee Brewers, including winning both games of a Sunday doubleheader.
The Nationals used a potent mixture of great starting pitching from Tom Gorzelanny, Jason Marquis and Livan Hernandez, as well as calling on the longball to put runs on the board. Five different Nationals players put balls over the wall, including second baseman Danny Espinosa, who in Sunday's doubleheader collected seven RBI, including a three-run homerun and a three-run bases clearing triple. Espinosa is hitting .256 with a team leading 14 RBIs, seven walks and a .364 on-base percentage. He recently took over the leadoff spot from shortstop Ian Desmond, who has had a rough start to the young 2011 season.
The Nationals will need both good pitching and batting to find success in St. Louis. The Nats have not won a game at Busch Stadium since May 27, 2007 when they defeated the Cardinals, 7-2. It will be up to starter John Lannan (1-1, 3.38 ERA) to hold off the Cards offense, which is headed by always-dangerous first baseman Albert Pujols. Lannan hopes to continue the Nationals streak of pitchers who last five innings or more -- Washington is the only team in Major League Baseball to have all their starters do so.
The Nationals' offense will be looking to give Cardinals starter Jake Westbrook (1-1, 7.63 ERA) a rough night. Westbrook has pitched in three games this season, but only just got his first win of the season April 13 against the Arizona Diamondbacks. In those three games, Westbrook has given up 16 runs. Thirteen of those were earned.
First pitch from Busch Stadium takes place at 8:15 P.M. EST.
Danny Espinosa - 2B
Rick Ankiel - CF
Jayson Werth - RF
Adam LaRoche - 1B
Wilson Ramos - C
Michael Morse - LF
Ian Desmond - SS
Jerry Hairston Jr. - 3B
John Lannan - SP