St. Louis Cardinals (26-24) at Washington Nationals (29-21)
Sunday, May 29 - 1:35 PM EST
Nationals Park, Washington, District of Columbia
Stephen Strasburg looks to extend a pair of winning streaks when he toes the rubber for the Washington Nationals in the finale of their four-game series with the visiting St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday. While Strasburg is the first pitcher in franchise history to begin a season 8-0 since Pedro Martinez did the same with the Montreal Expos in 1997, his team has been victorious in each of his last 14 starts.
Included in those streaks is a victory by Strasburg at St. Louis on April 29, when he yielded two runs in seven innings. The Cardinals have taken two of the first three games of the series after posting a 9-4 victory on Saturday. Matt Holliday homered and scored twice as part of a 12-hit attack as St. Louis won for the second time in six meetings this season. Ryan Zimmerman slugged two homers and Bryce Harper also went deep for the Nationals, but the reigning National League MVP has just one multi-hit effort in his last 14 games.
TV: 1:35 p.m. ET, MLB Network, FSN Midwest (St. Louis), MASN, WUSA 9 (Washington)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Cardinals RH Michael Wacha (2-5, 5.04 ERA) vs. Nationals RH Stephen Strasburg (8-0, 2.79)
After posting a 2.65 ERA through his first six starts, Wacha has allowed 20 earned runs over 18 innings in his last four appearances. He has lasted exactly four frames and given up exactly eight hits in each of his last three starts - including Tuesday against the Chicago Cubs, who got to him for eight runs. The 24-year-old Texan, who has lost five straight decisions, owns a sparkling 0.79 ERA in three career starts versus Washington.
Strasburg struck out a season high-tying 11 in 6 2/3 innings of a win over the New York Mets his last time out. He has reached double digits in strikeouts in five of his last eight starts and has given the Nationals at least six frames in all 10 appearances this year. Holliday is 6-for-12 against Strasburg, who has recorded a 2.76 ERA in five career meetings with the Cardinals.
1. Harper is hitting .233 at home this season after posting a .345 average at Nationals Park last year.
2. Cardinals INF Greg Garcia is 5-for-7 with three walks since being recalled from Triple-A Memphis on Thursday.
3. Washington 2B Daniel Murphy has registered 41 hits in May, a record in one month for the Nationals.
PREDICTION: Nationals 4, Cardinals 3