Game #30 AJ Cole starts for the #Nats; Albers the closer?

Photo by Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Nationals won a game last night that was a game of firsts, seconds and dozens. Matt Albers earned his first career save, Stephen Strasburg hit his second career home run, and last night Ryan Zimmerman reached the dozen mark in home runs this season.

As of last night, Ryan Zimmerman‘s statline looks like a beer-league softball fabrication. Zim is batting .433 with a 1.359 OPS. He said he has never been in the zone like this for so long, and MLB Network analyst credits the support of Daniel Murphy for much of the success. Zimmerman is hitting good pitches, mistake pitches, and covering the outside of the plate that had been his kryptonite. The Face-of-the-Franchise moved to the middle of the batter’s box and has complete plate coverage.

The question today will be which A.J. Cole will we see? The one-time top prospect has been inconsistent at times, and he will face the Phillies inconsistent pitcher Vincent Velazquez.

Meanwhile, Joe Ross makes a start tonight for the Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs, and this is his first start there after he was optioned almost a week ago.

Today’s line-up is minus Bryce Harper for the second day in a row has he nurses his sore left groin. Rafael Bautista will get his first MLB start.

Washington Nationals at Philadelphia Phillies
Stadium: Citizens Bank Ballpark, Philadelphia, PA
1st Pitch:  7:05 pm EDT
TV: MASN, Comcast Philadelphia , MLB.TV
Nats Radio: 106.7 FM The Fan; SiriusXM®  (Internet 869)

Line-ups  (subject to change without notice):

  1. Trea Turner SS
  2. Jayson Werth LF
  3. Daniel Murphy 2B
  4. Ryan Zimmerman 1B
  5. Anthony Rendon 3B
  6. Matt Wieters C
  7. Michael Taylor CF
  8. Rafael Bautista RF
  9. A.J. Cole RHP
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