Stephen Strasburg returns to the Washington Nationals starting rotation on Friday night against the Atlanta Braves.
Relegated to the disabled list since June 10th with right shoulder inflammation, Strasburg has been missed. Before his departure the Nationals’ starters had the National League’s best ERA. After, they can claim the NL’s worst.
Friday night the Nationals start an all-important three-game set with the Atlanta Braves. Gio Gonzalez and Max Scherzer are scheduled to pitch the Saturday and Sunday games, respectively. The Nationals, who are five-games behind the Braves in the NL East standings, can make up substantial ground with a weekend sweep.
Strasburg will face the Braves’ Anibal Sanchez. The Nationals are only hitting .091 against Sanchez this year, but Daniel Murphy, Adam Eaton and Bryce Harper all have good power numbers against the pitcher. Plus, with Ryan Zimmerman also fresh off the DL Friday night, the Nationals are primed to make some offensive noise.
Facing the Braves for the 30th time in his career, Stephen Strasburg is poised for a strong outing against the familiar foe. Strasburg’s numbers are good this year against Atlanta, with a 1-1 record, 1.84 ERA and 18Ks in 14.2 innings.
So, have faith, Nats Nation.
Nationals Park will be juiced, Stephen Strasburg will be throwing and, with a little timely –and hard– hitting, we’ll all be smiling Friday night.