The (41-40) Washington Nationals and (32-48) Milwaukee Brewers start a four-game set in Nationals Park tonight at 7:05 pm EDT with Jordan Zimmermann on the mound in the nation's capital against Brewers' right-hander Yovani Gallardo. The Nationals try to make it two in a row after pounding the New York Mets 13-2 on Sunday to lift themselves a game above .500 at the true halfway point of the 2013 season. We answered five questions about the Nats for a Q&A with the SB Nation's Brewers site Brew Crew Ball to preview the series in D.C.:
BCB: What's the trade deadline look like for this team? Will they be buyers, and if so, what might they be looking for?
FBB: From what the Nationals say, they're looking for the returning players like Bryce Harper and Wilson Ramos to bolster the offense, but one of the biggest problems offensively has been the offensive output, or lack of it they've received from their bench bats this season. Last year, Steve Lombardozzi, Tyler Moore, Roger Bernadina and Chad Tracy all exceeded expectations, but they've come back down to earth this season. I wouldn't be surprised at all to see the Nationals go out and get a bench bat that could fill in around the field at first and in the outfield. I think a lot of what the Nats do at the deadline will also depend on how Dan Haren pitches when he returns. Taylor Jordan, who's filling in for Haren now, is in the second year back from Tommy John, so he's not seen as a long-term solution this season. If Haren falters upon returning, the Nationals might go for a starter, but I think they believe the roster they started the season with is capable of making a run, so I think they're going to look at the production over the next month when they have the ideal lineup back on the field and see how things go. Not expecting anything big, but the Nationals have generated a good deal of excitement in the last two seasons, so they might surprise me and do something big if things don't go well over the next few weeks.
• Read the entire Q&A over at Brew Crew Ball through the link below: