Nationals' Saturday Night Lineup: Can Nats Make It Eight Straight?

Patrick McDermott

The Washington Nationals send Gio Gonzalez to the mound in the nation's capital tonight to take on the Philadelphia Phillies and left-hander Cole Hamels in the second game of the three-game weekend set in Nationals Park.

Gio Gonzalez was frustrated at the end of his complete game one-hitter in New York this past week, but only because he'd come so close to a no-hitter. A pinch hit single by Mets' infielder Zach Lutz in the seventh just hit the line behind first and was called fair after Adam LaRoche had missed on a diving attempt. Gonzalez settled for the one-hitter and his third straight win. In those three starts, the Nationals' 27-year-old has posted a 0.42 ERA in 21 2/3 IP in which he's held opposing hitters to a .120/.205/.120 line. The 2012 21-game winner takes the mound in the nation's capital tonight looking to win his fourth and the Nats' eighth straight game.

"You don't want to take anybody out. You want to leave your best defense in there." - Davey Johnson on Gio Gonzalez's no-hit bid vs Mets

Gonzalez takes on a Philadelphia Phillies team he's (2-0) against in three starts so far this season. In 19 2/3 IP against the Nationals' NL East rivals from the City of Brotherly Love, the left-hander has a 1.83 ERA, seven walks (3.20 BB/9) and 22 Ks (10.07 K/9). In his career, the six-year major league veteran is now (5-1) with a 2.22 ERA, 16 walks (3.22 BB/9), 51 Ks (10.28 K/9) and 1.05 WHIP in seven starts and 44.2 IP against the Phillies. Gonzalez faces Philadelphia for the eighth time tonight in Nationals Park.

The Nationals' starter is (5-3) at home in D.C. this season, with a 2.64 ERA, a 3.16 FIP, 32 walks (3.38 BB/9) and 84 Ks (8.86 K/9) in 14 starts and 85 1/3 IP in which he's held opponents to a .223/.299/.341 line.

In order to keep the Nationals' winning streak going, they'll have to beat Phillies' lefty Cole Hamels, who makes the 28th start of his career against the Nationals tonight. In his previous 27 outings, the 29-year-old, '02 1st Round pick is (14-6) against the Nats, with a 2.52 ERA, 44 walks (2.22 BB/9), 185 Ks (9.32 K/9) and a 1.05 WHIP in 178 2/3 IP. So far this season, Hamels is (1-1) with a 2.11 ERA in three starts and 21 1/3 IP against the Nationals, giving up six hits and five runs, three earned in 6 1/3 IP in D.C. back on May 26th and then holding them to one run on six hits in eight innings of a 4-2 win in Citizens Bank Park back on July 9th.

Last time out, in a September 2nd outing against the Nats in Nationals Park, Hamels received no decision after giving up just two hits and one earned run in seven innings in what ended up a 3-2 loss.

• Here's the Nats' lineup that will take on the Phillies' lefty tonight in Washington, D.C.:

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