ST. LOUIS — With the amount of times the Nationals and St. Louis Cardinals play one another in spring training, each two of the four remaining teams that hold camp on Florida’s east coast, the assumption is that they know each other pretty well.
They almost knew each other even better when the benches cleared in the Nationals’ final trip to Jupiter this spring, but no punches were thrown.
Anyway, the Nationals — riding a three-game winning streak — face Jake Westbrook tonight and despite the familiarity the teams may have with one another, a hefty amount of Nationals hitters have never faced Westbrook, at least not in the regular season.
The Cardinals come in with their own positives to accentuate after a 6-4 road trip has catapulted them back into the conversation in the NL Central with an offense that scored an absurd 73 runs in 10 games. Nationals left-hander John Lannan will be looking to suppress that offense while he hopes his own team can continue the surge they showed off in Sunday’s doubleheader sweep of the Brewers and give him some breathing room as they look to win four in a row in a place that hasn’t been kind to Washington the past few years.
Here are the Nationals’ career numbers against Westbrook:
Danny Espinosa: Never faced
Rick Ankiel: Never faced
Jayson Werth: 2-for-2, 1 2B, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1.000 OBP, 3.000 SLG
Adam LaRoche: Never faced
Michael Morse: 0-for-3, 1 RBI, 1 K
Wilson Ramos: Never faced
Ian Desmond: 0-for-3, 1 K
Jerry Hairston Jr.: 0-for-5, 2 K
John Lannan: Never faced
Ivan Rodriguez: 10-for-38 (.263), 3 2B, 1 3B, 1 RBI, 1 BB, .282 OBP, .395 SLG, 6 K
Alex Cora: 0-for-1
Matt Stairs: 5-for-26 (.192), 3 2B, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 1 BB, .222 OBP, .423 SLG, 5 K
Laynce Nix: 3-for-6 (.500), 1 2B, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB, .571 OBP, 1.167 SLG
Jesus Flores: 1-for-3 (.333), 2 RBI, .333 OBP, .333 SLG
– While I have you here, make sure to check out my colleague Nathan Fenno’s feature on what it was like Friday night in Hagerstown for Bryce Harper’s home debut.