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Nationals' lineup for second of three with the Mets in NYC: Will Nats even up series in Citi Field?

Jose Fernandez and Noah Syndergaard dominated the Nationals in each of the last two games. How will Washington fare against New York Mets' starter Bartolo Colon? Here's the lineup that Dusty Baker is sending out in Citi Field...

Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

In Sunday's series finale with the Miami Marlins, Jose Fernandez struck out eleven batters in seven innings of work on the mound in Nationals Park.

Washington's hitters struck out 15 times total on the day in the 5-1 loss, but Dusty Baker was asked about the Ks vs Fernandez in particular when he spoke to reporters after the game.

Was Fernandez's stuff that good? Were the Nationals expanding their zones? He did enter the game with 12.29 K/9 on the year.

"Well, that's how he pitches," Baker said. "He throws some breaking balls over the plate and then he'll throw some off the plate. This guy, when he's healthy, he's amongst the league leaders in strikeouts.

"You know he's going to have some strikeouts, it's just that when we get a pitch to hit we can't really miss it because he's not going to give you a whole bunch to hit."

Against New York Mets' right-hander Noah Syndergaard, who started the night on Tuesday with 10.68 K/9, the Nationals struck out 10 times in seven innings. Is it just a matter of facing really good pitchers who pile up Ks?

Baker was asked how he evaluated his hitters' approach in the last two games.

"Those are strikeout pitchers," Baker said, "and they happen to be in our division, so we're going to be facing them on and off all year long, so we just have to figure out a way to hit them.

It wasn't his fastball that was striking us out. Most of the time it was his breaking ball.

"He'd get ahead of you and he'd throw the breaking ball off the plate or in the dirt, and you really don't have a whole bunch of time to make up your mind when a guy is throwing 98-100 mph.

"So, he certainly, he has good stuff, that's some of the best we've seen this year."

Tonight, in the second game of three with the Mets in Citi Field, the Nationals are facing Bartolo Colon, who's much less of a strikeout threat than their previous two opponents on the mound.

Through eight games, seven starts and 43 ⅓ innings pitched, the 42-year-old right-hander has 36 Ks (7.48 K/9), but he hasn't walked many batters (just 4 BB on the year, 0.83 BB/9). Of course, in two games, one of them a start, last year, the 19-year major league veteran held the Nationals to just one run on three hits in seven innings, walking one batter and striking out nine...

Here's the Nationals' lineup for the second game of their three-game set in New York: