February 22, 2020

Washington Nationals Series Preview: New York Yankees

When the Nationals and Yankees last met less than a month ago the Yankees were sliding and the Nationals were hot…and they meet again, this time in New York, with quite the opposite being true.

The Yankees (32-25) haven’t lost since the calendar turned to June – they face Washington riding a six game winning streak after sweeps in Seattle and against the Angels last week, which helped them reclaim first place in a tight American League East.

The Nationals (30-27) have struggled in June, following the three straight losses in Cincinnati that closed out May. Washington lost three of the four games against Chicago last weekend, and the Nats are 2-5 so far this month. The Mets didn’t have a great week, going just 3-4, but it was good enough that when the Nationals open up their short two game series with the Yankees Tuesday night, the Mets will play the Giants at Citi Field across town up a half-game in the National League East.

*The Last Time…

The Nationals played the Yankees for two games in Washington in May, with the Nats taking both games, but it wasn’t easy. In the first game they fought their way back from a 6-2 deficit, with Ryan Zimmerman providing the walk-off win by tagging Andrew Miller for the first runs he’d given up all season. Game two was a more conventional, though equally tight, 3-2 Nationals win.

*In The Other Dugout

On Tuesday night Masahiro Tanaka will be making just his sixth start of the season – and second back from the disabled list – when he takes the mound against the Nationals. Tanaka made four starts in April, then missed the last week of April and all of May with a forearm strain. This came after he bypassed surgery, instead resting, an arm injury at the end of last season. Tanaka started on June 3rd in Seattle, going seven innings, giving up just one run on three hits and striking out nine while walking none.

*Matchup To Watch

Mark Teixeira has 17 home runs and 45 RBI already this season – one of those home runs came off Gio Gonzalez last month. In his career Teixeira is 6 for 18 with 2 homers against Gonzalez. For their part, the Nationals are familiar with Gonzalez’s counterpart Wednesday afternoon, Nathan Eovaldi, from his time with the Marlins. Ryan Zimmerman is 3 for 10 against Eovaldi, but two of his three hits were home runs.

*Probables

Tuesday, 7:05pm: Max Scherzer (6-4, 1.85 ERA) vs. Masahiro Tanaka (3-1, 2.76 ERA)

Wednesday, 1:05pm: Gio Gonzalez (4-3, 4.57 ERA) vs. Nathan Eovaldi (5-1, 4.16 ERA)

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