by Bart Johnston, TiqIQ
There are still plenty of Nationals tickets available to see them take the field in a four-game series against the Cincinnati Reds at Nationals Park. The Nationals are looking to avoid a five game losing streak following a three game sweep at the hands of the St. Louis Cardinals at the beginning of the week. During the current four game losing streak the Nationals have struggled to score runs despite having solid outings by the pitching staff. With a total of only four runs, it is clear that Davey Johnson’s squad has to get the bats going to reverse course.
The Reds on the other hand enter the game fresh off a series win at home against the Chicago Cubs, and they are winners of nine of their last eleven games after getting off to a 4-7 start. The Reds pitching staff was excellent against the Cubs, allowing eight runs in the series at home which was capped off by a fantastic start by Mat Latos in the series finale. Despite being tagged in the ankle in the top of the first inning by a line drive, Latos was able to stay in the game and pitch for seven innings, giving up no runs and four hits while grabbing his first win of the season.
The Reds will be looking to avoid their first six-game road losing streak since September of 2010 and will do so behind the arm of Bronson Arroyo who enters the game with a 2-1 record and a 3.54 ERA. The Nationals will look to Gio Gonzalez who is off to a bit of a struggle early on with a 1-1 record and a 5.00-plus ERA. Gonzalez has, however, been slightly unlucky with a below average strand rate and his statistics project him doing better as the season goes on. Gonzalez, coming off a sensational first season with the club, has become slightly more reliant on his fastball at the beginning of the year.
The Reds are lucky that they avoid Nationals’ ace Stephen Strasburg over the four game set, but they will still face Jordan Zimmermann on Friday, Dan Haren on Saturday, and Ross Detwiler on Sunday. The Reds will send out Homer Bailey on Friday, Mike Leake on Saturday, and solid prospect Tony Cingrani on Sunday.
Tickets are still available for the series and reasonably priced for early in the season. Tickets on Thursday are going for an average of $22 and there are tickets left on the market for the very low price of $3. For the weekend tickets are slightly more expensive with the Friday and Saturday games boasting an average of $63 a ticket with a get-in price of $8 and $15 respectively, while the series finale on Sunday costs around $59 a ticket with the lowest tickets going for $3 again similar to Thursday.
The weather at Nationals Park looks to be gorgeous for the end of April with highs around 70 degrees and no chance of rain over the course of the weekend. Get out and support the Nationals as they try to topple an early-season NL contender in the Cincinnati Reds.