D’Backs vs. Nationals Series Preview

Jun. 19, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA: Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Trevor Cahill throws in the first inning against the Miami Marlins at Chase Field. Image Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Nationals just split a four-game series with the Colorado Rockies over the weekend and they will now welcome the Arizona Diamondbacks into the nation’s capital for a three-game series that begins on Tuesday.

The Nationals are one game under .500 (37-38) and this season has not gone according to plans. They have had to deal with injuries to key players on their team, and the biggest injury that occurred is with their best player outfielder Bryce Harper. Harper has bursitis in his left knee which has sidelined from action since May 26, but he is expected to begin a rehab assignment with Class A Potomac on Tuesday.

Arizona won their last series by taking two of three games from the Cincinnati Reds. They will now embark on 10-game road trip that has them playing the Nationals, Atlanta Braves and New York Mets.

The Diamondbacks are finally getting healthy with Aaron Hill expected to return to the line up. Hill has been out since April 15 because of a broken left hand. He will wear padded gloves to protect the healing bone while at the plate.

This will be the first meeting between Arizona and Washington this season. They went 2-4 against them last season.

Game 1 (Tuesday): Trevor Cahill (3-8, 3.92 ERA) vs. Gio Gonzalez (3-3, 3.34 ERA)

Cahill left his last start in the second inning after being struck by a come backer. The right-hander said he could have pitched through the discomfort, but Arizona did not want to take any chances. He has not won a start since May 17 and is 0-3 with an 8.80 ERA in June.

Gonzalez recently had his best start of the season, but made a mistake in the first inning. After that, he retired 14 out of the next 15 hitters he faced.

Game 2 (Wednesday): Wade Miley (4-6, 4.70 ERA) vs. Jordan Zimmerman (10-3, 2.26 ERA)

Miley struggled mightily with his command in his start vs. the Reds, walking four batters and lasting just 4 2/3 innings because of a high pitch count. Still the southpaw, managed to hold Cincinnati to just three runs on five hits.

Zimmerman was spectacular against Colorado, fanning nine and allowing just six hits and one unearned run over eight innings. He threw 112 pitches and 85 strikes, both season highs, en route to his 10th win of the year.

Game 3 (Thursday): Patrick Corbin (9-0, 2.19 ERA) vs. Stephen Strasburg (4-6, 2.40 ERA)

Corbin was brilliant vs. a high-powered Reds offense yielding one run on three hits over eight innings. For his fourth-consecutive start, the left-hander took a no-decision. He’ll try again Thursday to become the first Diamondbacks starting pitcher to start a season 10-0.

Strasburg doesn’t get much run support when he pitches, but if he pitches like he did against the Rockies, he won’t need it. He struck out nine and allowed just five hits over seven innings of one-run ball.

Topics: Arizona Diamondbacks, Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmerman, Patrick Corbin, Stephen Strasburg, Trevor Cahill, Wade Miley, Washington Nationals

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