Sunday, June 26, 2016

Brewers go for sweep of reeling Nationals

The series finale between the Nationals and Brewers on Sunday at Miller Park will feature the pitching staff that strikes out the most batters against the team that goes down on strikes most often. The Nationals will look to avoid the three-game sweep and their eighth straight loss without ace Stephen Strasburg, however, who was scratched after Saturday's game.
Tanner Roark will get the nod in place of Strasburg, who also missed a start Monday with the same issue, an upper back strain. Roark has made 15 starts with a 3.18 ERA for a Washington staff that leads the league in strikeouts and strikeout percentage.
Milwaukee's offense, meanwhile, strikes out in a league-high 25.4 percent of plate appearances entering Saturday, though it also draws walks at the Majors' third-best clip at 10.1 percent. Jimmy Nelson will start for the Brewers, looking to regain his form after his command has suffered and his ERA has jumped to 3.80.
Three things to know about this game
• Nelson labored through five innings of one-run ball Tuesday at Oakland, but has a 7.50 ERA spanning his last four starts. He leads the Brewers in quality starts with eight, but he has not achieved one since May 29.
• Milwaukee has not swept the Nationals since May 2011, when they took every game of a three-game set at Miller Park en route to winning the National League Central. Current Brewers manager Craig Counsell went 0-for-6 with a run scored as an infielder for the Crew in that series.
• Nationals batters are a career 14-for-37 (.378) with a 1.050 OPS and two homers against Nelson. In two career starts against Washington -- both coming last season -- Nelson is 1-1 with a 7.84 ERA.

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