Game #49 Joe Ross looks for a clean sweep! Can #Nats score 16?

Bryce Harper‘s cleat by: Matt Hazlett /  #: 689110760 Collection: Getty Images Sport

This homestand ends today at the 30% mark in the season with Joe Ross at the helm trying to sweep the Padres while also trying to make Chris Speier 3-0 as the understudy manager to Dusty Baker. The Nationals will need to score 16 runs for Ross to keep up his record pace which stands at 62 runs over his first 4 starts this season.

The Washington Nationals players will be entering the clubhouse this morning finding out that they now have an 8.5 game lead over the 2nd place Braves and a 9.5 lead over the 3rd place Mets. Believe it or not, it is not the largest division lead in the Majors. The AL West has the Houston Astros with a 9.0 game lead over the Angels.

If the Nationals can win today, they will also reach 13.0 games over .500 for the first time this season and improve to 5-1 on this homestand. The Padres of course want to step up with Jhoulys Chacin today on the mound as he is the best home pitcher in baseball at a 0.67 ERA versus his road ERA of 10.94. He is literally the tale of two cities.

It will be the Nats mission today to keep Chacin’s road woes intact while adding to the Joe Ross offensive support, but if Joe Ross continues behind what Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg just accomplished, hold the Padres to no more than 1 run and take care of your own business just like Ross did on Tuesday to the Mariners.

In fact the last five game rotation of Ross, Tanner Roark, Gio Gonzalez, Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg has yielded only 5 runs to the opponents. The Nationals have moved up to the 6th best starting rotation in baseball with a 3.69 ERA and if we remove Jeremy Guthrie‘s 10 runs in the 2/3rds of an inning the current ERA is 3.39 which would be the 2nd best ERA in the Majors only trailing the St. Louis Cardinals 3.10.

Hopefully Joe Ross has that chip on his shoulder facing the team that traded him away with Trea Turner. Ross has only faced 5 of these Padres before in one start against the Padres.

The Nationals have faced Chacin a few times before with both Daniel Murphy and Jayson Werth batting .500 and Ryan Zimmerman is 1-9 against Chacin. Adam Lind is 1-5 against Chacin and his one hit was a home run. The stat of the day is Michael Taylor is slashing  .315/.351/.543/.894 since taking over for the injured Adam Eaton.

On the Difo counter, the Nationals are 12-3 in games started by Wilmer Difo. Adam Lind will get his first start in leftfield today for the Washington Nationals. Daniel Murphy sits for his 3rd straight game.

San Diego Padres at Washington Nationals 
Stadium: Nationals Park, South Capitol Street SE, Washington, DC
1st Pitch:  1:35 pm EDT
TV: MASN, FOX Sports San Diego, MLB.TV
Nats Radio: 106.7 FM The Fan; SiriusXM®  XM 188 Sirius 108 (Internet 869)

Line-ups  (subject to change without notice):

  1. Trea Turner SS
  2. Brian Goodwin RF
  3. Anthony Rendon 3B
  4. Ryan Zimmerman 1B
  5. Adam Lind LF
  6. Michael Taylor CF
  7. Jose Lobaton C
  8. Wilmer Difo 2B
  9. Joe Ross RHP


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