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Game 64: Gotta take two of three

We welcome into town the ML worst Washington Nationals (16-45, .262), who are already 20 games out of first. The Yankees should take at least two out of three in this series, especially considering we'll have our two best starters going (sandwiching our worst).

Because of the off-day, Wang will be held until tomorrow and Sabathia will go tonight. CC's coming off a very good game that fell apart late. He's faced D.C. twice in his career, most recently last season when he threw a complete-game shut-out.

The Nationals' lineup actually isn't that bad: They're slightly below average in runs/game, but above average in OPS+ (thanks to Adam Dunn, Nick Johnson and Ryan Zimmerman). This makes sense due to the fact that the Nats are second to last in stolen bases (19), and even when they do steal, they're rather unsuccessful (59%). The Yankees, on the other hand, have one of the best success rates (83%).

Where D.C. struggles is on the pitching side (despite playing in a pitcher's park). The following are their ranks in MLB pitching:

ERA+ - worst

WHIP - worst

Walks - 2nd worst

Wild pitches - 2nd worst

Strikeouts - 3rd worst

They also rank dead last in defense, having surrendered 27 runs more than an average defense.

Tonight, it's Curacao-native Shairon Martis who gets the ball for Washington. The righty is just 22 and has had a rough go of it in two big league seasons, compiling a 5.18 ERA in 90.1 innings. It's tough to get outs when you only K 3.6 per nine and walk more than you K (29/28).


Washington Nationals @ New York Yankees

06/16/09 7:05 PM EDT

Washington Nationals New York Yankees
Cristian Guzman - DH Derek Jeter - SS
Nick Johnson - 1B Johnny Damon - LF
Ryan Zimmerman - 3B Mark Teixeira - 1B
Elijah Dukes - CF Alex Rodriguez - 3B
Adam Dunn - LF Robinson Cano - 2B
Austin Kearns - RF Jorge Posada - C
Alberto Gonzalez - SS Hideki Matsui - DH
Josh Bard - C Nick Swisher - RF
Anderson Hernandez - 2B Melky Cabrera - CF