Mariners Insider Blog

Up next: Washington Nationals

PITCHING MATCHUPS

Tonight – RHP Dickey (1-1, 2.67) vs. vs. RHP Hill (0-3, 4.35), 7:10 p.m.

Saturday – LHP Bedard (4-4, 4.26) vs. TBA, 7:10 p.m.

Sunday – LHP Washburn (2-7, 6.09) vs. RHP Redding (6-3, 4.29), 1:10 p.m.

SCOUTING REPORT

The Mariners completed a 3-3 roadtrip on Wednesday, had a day off on Thursday and now get to face the struggling Washington Nationals? Things must be looking up.

The Nationals, who have made only one trip to Seattle back in 2005, kick off a string of 15 consecutive games against National League teams. At 26-42 and in last place in the NL East, the Nats have two more wins than Mariners but have not been playing well lately. Washington has lost 10 of its last 12.

It's not been pretty. The Nationals rank last in the NL in average (.234), runs (243), on-base percentage (.310) and slugging percentage (.356). The pitching's not much better, ranking 14th out of 16 NL teams in ERA (4.56) and opponent's batting average (.271).

Injuries have crippled the team, forcing 12 players to the disabled list . Odalis Perez, scheduled to start tonight and the team's opening day starter, was scratched because of shoulder problems.

Star third baseman Ryan Zimmerman is out for about a month with a shoulder injury and closer Chad Cordero remains out since April because … you guessed it … a shoulder injury.

Factor in injuries to Austin Kearns, Elijah Dukes, Paul LoDuca, Dmitri Young and Nick Johnson, and the Nats have had to use 38 players (fourth most in baseball) this season.

PLAYER TO WATCH

Dukes. He apparently got into a shouting match with manager Manny Acta on Tuesday adding another chapter to his troubled story. Dukes missed 34 games earlier this season with a hamstring injury but is healthy now, having hit .305 (18-for-59) in his last 18 games.

RECORD VS. MARINERS

The teams have played nine times in their history – and not at all since 2005 – with Washington owning a 5-4 advantage (2-4 in Seattle).

DID YOU KNOW?

The one thing the Nats have done well is field. Their .986 fielding percentage ranks third in the NL.

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