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Cardinals Vs. Nationals Game Preview: Stephen Strasburg Takes Mound In Rubber Match

The NL East leading Washington Nationals look to recover from last night's 10-9 loss at St. Louis on Sunday, as Stephen Strasburg (15-6, 3.05 ERA) will face Jake Westbrook (13-10, 3.94 ERA) in the series' rubber match beginning at 1:35 p.m. ET at Nationals Park.

On Saturday, the Cardinals and Nats traded blows throughout the duration of the game, as the lead changed four times over nine innings. Tied at 9-9 headed into the ninth, the Cardinals scored on a David Freese single to go ahead by one. The Nationals would not answer in the bottom of the inning, dropping the contest.

Bryce Harper, Adam LaRoche, and Danny Espinosa had big games offensively for the Nats, combining to go 5-of-13 with five runs, four runs batted in, and two homers.

Closer Drew Storen (1-1, 3.86 ERA) earned the loss for Washington. St. Louis' Mitchell Boggs (3-1, 1.90 ERA) was credited for the Cardinals win.

Today will mark one of Stephen Strasburg's few remaining starts, as the Washington star is nearing his club-imposed innings limit, part of his recovery from last season's Tommy John surgery. He has been highly effective for Washington this season, as his 186 strikeouts lead the Nats rotation and is good for third in the National League.

Per Davey Johnson, after Stephen's last start for Washington, the ace has "a few more [games] to go" before his shutdown.

St. Louis' Westbrook has been a solid pitcher for the Cardinals for much of the season, but has disappointed over his last two starts, where he allowed a combined 12 earned runs on 18 hits.

The game will be televised in the Beltway on MASN 2 HD and WDCW DC-50, and on FS-M in the St. Louis area.