Aug 31, 2015, 4:45 PM EDT
The schedule over the season’s final five weeks is favorable to the Nationals … except for the next three nights. That’s because they must face the best team in baseball inside a park where that team has been nearly unbeatable. The Cardinals are 84-46 overall, a staggering 46-19 at Busch Stadium. And the Nats, of course, have had all kinds of difficulty winning in that park; they have lost seven consecutive games in St. Louis, their last win coming in Game 1 of the 2012 NLDS.
So, the Nationals face a stiff challenge the next few nights. At the same time, the Mets will be hosting the Phillies, the same team they just swept in a 4-game series last week, scoring a ridiculous number of runs along the way. Talk about a potentially pivotal series for both clubs…
As for tonight’s game, Yunel Escobar returns to the Nats’ lineup after three games missed with a
hyperextended neck bruised right hand. Which means Anthony Rendon moves back to second base and Danny Espinosa moves back to the bench. Jose Lobaton also is behind the plate, back working with Gio Gonzalez after Wilson Ramos caught the lefty’s last start (which was not a good one).
I’m unfortunately not in St. Louis for this series, but I’ll be watching along with all of you and will have remote analysis in the morning. In the meantime, enjoy the conversation…
WASHINGTON NATIONALS at ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
Where: Busch Stadium, St. Louis
Gametime: 8:15 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN2, MLB.tv
Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, XM 186/859
Weather: Partly cloudy, 83 degrees, Wind 7 mph RF to LF
LF Jayson Werth
2B Anthony Rendon
RF Bryce Harper
1B Ryan Zimmerman
3B Yunel Escobar
SS Ian Desmond
C Jose Lobaton
CF Michael Taylor
LHP Gio Gonzalez
3B Matt Carpenter
RF Stephen Piscotty
SS Jhonny Peralta
CF Jason Heyward
C Yadier Molina
2B Kolten Wong
1B Mark Reynolds
LF Brandon Moss
RHP John Lackey
HP Bill Welke
1B John Hirschbeck (cc)
2B John Tumpane
3B James Hoye
FINAL NL EAST STANDINGS
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 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: 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.
Follow us on Twitter
- Bryce Harper, Jayson Werth awesomely lead Nats' 'Game of Thrones' dress-up
- Bryce Harper reportedly will come off the disabled list tomorrow
- Nationals, without their big guns, fall to Mets
- Cubs, Brewers, or Cardinals: potential postseason opponents for the Washington Nationals
- Nationals baffled by Dickey's knuckleball in Braves' 3-2 win
- Ryan Zimmerman sets career high in homers vs. Braves
- Updated MLB Postseason 2017 Bracket Projection
- Nationals vs. Braves Preview: Gonzalez looks to rebound
- When will Bryce Harper return to the Nationals' lineup?
- Max Scherzer bounces back from last week's rough start against Atlanta