Nationals (36-27) vs. Yankees (42-19) series info:
Game 1: Tuesday, June 12 at 7:05 p.m. EST (MASN/106.7 The Fan)
Game 2: Wednesday, June 13 at 7:05 p.m. EST (MASN/106.7)
Monday: Tanner Roark (0 ER, 6 IP) vs. C.C. Sabathia (9-1, 1.92 ERA)
Tuesday: TBA (Erick Fedde?) vs. Sonny Gray (2-6, 3.61)
What to watch for:
Daniel Murphy *actually* makes his return this time
Batting fifth out of the designated hitter spot, second baseman Daniel Murphy will finally be making his long-awaited season debut in the series opener. Murphy spent the offseason and first two months of this season recovering from a knee surgery he underwent last October. In his absence, Nationals second basemen have posted a collective .715 OPS which ranks 11th in baseball at the position. However, the overall offense has struggled as of late and should get a boost with Murphy and outfielder Adam Eaton joining the lineup.
Erick Fedde looks to build off strong first start
With Stephen Strasburg joining fellow starter Jeremy Hellickson on the shelf, the Nats will be forced to call on top pitching prospect Erick Fedde to make the start Wednesday. Fedde made one start earlier this season against the Padres, allowing three earned runs on eight hits and a walk with six strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings. He unraveled a bit in the sixth, giving up his only walk and ultimately exiting the game following a two-out, two-run double. If Fedde can replicate his performance from the first five innings, however, the Nats will be in a good position to win with him on the mound.
Struggling Gary Sanchez gets series off
Entering in Tuesday mired in a 4-for-53 slump, catcher Gary Sanchez will not be suiting up against the Nats on either Tuesday or Wednesday, according to MLB.com. Sanchez has reportedly been dealing with a calf injury but has asserted that his leg hasn’t been the source of his issues at the plate. Austin Romine, who is hitting .344 with four homers in 64 at-bats this season, will draw the start for each of the contests.
The Nationals lead the all-time series (2005-present) 7-6, with the Yankees taking three of five in their home ballpark. Washington and New York had both their previous games against each other this season postponed due to weather.