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Milwaukee Brewers vs Washington Nationals Series Preview: Nats host Brewers as injuries pile up

Three members of the Washington Nationals’ projected lineup and two starting pitchers are currently dealing with injury problems, but the season must go on and the Milwaukee Brewers are in town.

MLB: Milwaukee Brewers at Philadelphia Phillies Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Brewers (53-48) vs. Nationals (59-38) Series Info:

Game 1: Tuesday, July 25 at 7:05 p.m. EST (MASN2/106.7 The Fan)

Game 2: Wednesday, July 26 at 7:05 p.m. EST (MASN/106.7)

Game 3: Thursday, July 27 at 12:05 p.m. EST (MASN/106.7)

Pitching Matchups:

Tuesday: Zach Davies (11-4, 4.76 ERA) vs. Edwin Jackson (1-0, 4.50)

Wednesday: Jimmy Nelson (8-5, 3.43) vs. Gio Gonzalez (8-5, 2.83)

Thursday: Matt Garza (4-5, 3.83) vs. Max Scherzer (11-5, 2.26)

What to watch for:

Edwin Jackson out to prove himself

He went seven innings of two-run ball in his first start with Washington this season, but Edwin Jackson’s spot in the rotation isn’t secure by any means.

The start was only Jackson’s first since Sept. 30 of last season, but he managed to impress his manager enough to earn another turn in the rotation this week.

With Stephen Strasburg’s early departure from his start Sunday, Jackson’s role could become much more important.

For now, however, he must continue to prove why he belongs at the major league level.

Here comes Wilmer Difo

Over his last 13 games — a span that stretches back to July 2 — Wilmer Difo his hitting .405 with nine walks and 12 runs scored.

While that is a small sample size, Stephen Drew has struggled since Trea Turner hit the disabled list and Difo is taking advantage of the extra playing time he’s received.

Turner is receiving X-rays this week and should get a timetable for his return, but the Nationals have to like what they’ve been seeing out of Difo.

Don’t overlook the season Travis Shaw is having

Much attention was given to Eric Thames for his blistering start fully equipped with an impressive power surge.

Thames has since cooled off considerably, but in his wake is third baseman Travis Shaw, who’s having a career year in Milwaukee.

Shaw leads the Brewers in batting average, slugging percentage, OPS, doubles and RBIs, making him the most potent bat in a dangerous Milwaukee lineup.

Who to watch out for: Domingo Santana

MLB: Milwaukee Brewers at Philadelphia Phillies Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The first month of a season was a rough one for Domingo Santana, who entered play on April 28 hitting just .169 with only two home runs.

Since then, Santana owns a .321/.406/.537 batting line with 14 homers and 16 doubles in 74 games.

That’s nearly half a season of hitting like Ryan Zimmerman but with more walks and less homers, which is a pretty daunting thought for Nats’ pitchers.

In their words…

Kyle Lesniewski, Brew Crew Ball

“The Brewers have slumped after the All-Star Break, but will begin today in first place with 61 games remaining. This was supposed to be a rebuilding year, but the team finds itself as an unexpected contender and potential trade deadline buyer here in July. No National League team has hit as many dingers as the Brew Crew this season (148), but their offense will be hoping to break out of an extended cold streak that's seen them score 4+ runs just once in their past nine games.”