The first place Arizona Diamondbacks were impressive in their series win over the Florida Marlins but as they've been impressive in the four other series before that they won. Next up is the Washington
Generals Nationals who lead the NL East in losses and are the proud holders of a 24-31 record.
AZ Snake Pit has the full pitching matchup that starts with Zach Duke (1-0, 0.00) vs. Jordan Zimmermann (2-6, 3.88). Here's what they say:
Insightful Commentary: Zach Duke set the bar pretty high for himself in his first outing, throwing seven scoreless innings against the Astros, and hitting a three-run homer to boot. In my experience, any time a pitcher knocks in more runs than he gives up, he's done good. He's not likely to entirely replicate that performance, but he throws strikes consistently and has a good chance for his second straight quality start against a weak offense.
Jordan Zimmermann has been the Nationals' best pitcher this season, as his 3.88 ERA looks better when you consider that he has a 2.77 FIP. His key is not walking anyone, as his BB/9 is a mere 1.92. Zimmermann's had some injuries in the past, but is still only 25 and should be solid for years to come.
Friday features Josh Collmenter (3-1, 1.49) vs. Yunesky Maya (0-0, 7.71) with Saturday Joe Saunders (2-5, 4.77) vs. Livan Hernandez (3-6, 3.87) and Ian Kennedy (6-2, 3.16) vs. Jason Marquis (6-2, 4.13) on Sunday. Nothing like a good four-game series to get a full picture of how the rotation looks.
Here's more goodness from AZ Snake Pit:
Nationals made headlines for giving Jayson Werth, generally considered to be a solid but unspectacular right fielder, a 7 year, $126 million (!) contract in the winter. This maneuver worked just about well as could be expected, and the Nationals find themselves in a familiar position: last place in the NL East.
Two months completed, taking us more or less one-third through the 2011 campaign. The NL West is proving as tight as many expected. Nobody is completely out of it, with only 6.5 games between first and last place at the end of May. That made it the closest race in the National League, and is a margin which covered only the top three in the other two divisions
Another win at the big-league level for the D-backs, and another good day down on the farm, though a very strange day on the farm. A shutout at Reno and a slug-fest at Mobile hi-light just how odd of an evening this was. Speaking of that shutout at Reno, we have today's SotD... Snakelet of the Day: Barry Enright (Triple-A Reno): 6 IP, 0 R, 4:4 K:BB, 5:3 GO:AO