Washington Nationals Series Preview: Nationals Battle Division Foe Philadelphia Phillies

2 of 5

Apr 11, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher

Cole Hamels

(35) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Washington Nationals at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

For the first of a four game set, it is a rematch of Doug Fister and Cole Hamels. Both were excellent in their first matchup. Hamels went seven innings, only giving up two hits and one run off a Wilson Ramos home run. Fister was his usual efficient self and went 6.1 innings with six hits and no runs. Both ended up with a no decision as the Phillies came back to tie the game in the bottom of the eighth and win it in the bottom of the tenth.

Hamels has one more start than Fister as he was the opening day starter for the Phillies against the Red Sox. Hamels only gave up five hits, but four of them were home runs. If you are keeping count at home, that is five home runs in two outings. The Phillies could not pull out of their Opening Day hole and Hamels took the loss in a 8-0 defeat.

Advantage: Draw

Hamels is the only legitimate ace left on the Phillies staff and is perpetually in trade discussions as the team continues to rebuild and restock their farm system. Fister, while he is the fifth starter, has been just as effective as Max Scherzer so far this year. Expect another pitcher’s duel into the sixth or seventh when the bullpens will decide the fate of this game.

Although the starting pitchers are very good, I expect the Nats to come out firing. I think the adjustments Matt Williams made to the lineup helped offensive production and the Nats at least score enough to help Fister get his first win of the season.

Next: Game 2: O'Sullivan vs. Scherzer