National League Preview from The Sports Network|
Tuesday, May 13th
(All times Eastern)
Washington Nationals (20-18) at Arizona Diamondbacks (15-26), 9:40 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Washington - Stephen Strasburg (3-2, 3.42)
Arizona - Bronson Arroyo (3-2, 4.89)
(SportsNetwork.com) - Red-hot right-hander Stephen Strasburg can make it five
starts without a loss on Tuesday night, when he and the Washington Nationals
return to Chase Field for game two of a three-game series with the host
Strasburg was ordinary while going 1-2 with a 6.00 earned run average in his
initial four starts of 2014, but he's cranked it way up in the last four --
going 2-0 with a minuscule 1.37 ERA.
He went 7 1/3 innings and allowed two runs in a 3-2 victory over the Los
Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday, which got him above .500 at 3-2 for the season.
"He's as good as anybody on any given day. We've also seen that anybody can
get beat on any given day," Washington manager and ex-Diamondback Matt
Williams said. "We want to get him to that point where he can finish that
eighth inning, too. That's important for him. He's our horse. We don't want to
do that every time. But in a game like (Wednesday), he's got the lead and
(you) want to show confidence in him that we're willing to send him back out
there to protect that lead."
In four career meetings with Arizona, Strasburg is 2-0 with a 2.16 ERA, but he
faces a veteran right-hander in Bronson Arroyo, who's been equally efficient
as of late.
The Key West, Fla. native, in his first season with the Diamondbacks, has
tossed 14 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings en route to a stingy 0.87 ERA over
his last three starts.
In his initial three starts with Arizona, the 37-year-old Arroyo was 1-2 and
his ERA was a bloated 9.50.
"He's throwing the ball (well)," manager Kirk Gibson said. "He's been trending
in this direction."
Against the Nationals, Arroyo has lost three decisions in a five-start winless
stretch that followed a three-start run in which he won two decisions and had
an ERA below 1.00.
On Monday, the Nationals added to the Diamondbacks' woes at Chase Field with a
pair of solo home runs in the ninth inning.
Danny Espinosa tied the game with a round-tripper off Addison Reed and Kevin
Frandsen launched a go-ahead, pinch-hit shot off the closer that gave the
visitors a 6-5 decision.
Washington hit four homers in the victory, with Tyler Moore and Ian Desmond
each going deep to help the club shake off dropping three straight games in
Oakland over the weekend.
Josh Collmenter surrendered four runs on four hits in his five-inning start
for Arizona, and his counterpart, Jordan Zimmermann, gave up five runs on 10
hits over 5 2/3 innings.
05/13 10:52:19 ET