Washington Nationals Series Preview: Nats Vs. Phillies (9/25-9/27)

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Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Jerad Eickhoff (1-3, 3.16 ERA) vs. Jordan Zimmermann (13-8, 3.49) 7:05 PM ET, broadcast on MASN2

Tonight, the Washington Nationals will see Eickhoff for the first time. Eickhoff was one of the prospects who was dealt before the trade deadline from Texas to Philly in the Cole Hamels trade. He made his Major League debut on August 21 against the Miami Marlins and has shown good signs of why the Phillies traded for him.

In five of his six career starts, the 25-year-old right-hander has given up three runs or fewer. In his last outing against the Braves on September 19, Eickhoff went seven innings, gave up no runs on five hits, struck out five, and walked two in a no-decision. According to Fangraphs, Eickhoff has an average velocity on his fastball of 91 miles per hour to go with a slider, curveball, and changeup.

Tonight could also mark the final home start for Jordan Zimmermann in his Nats career, if he chooses to leave via free agency this winter. Zimmermann has not recorded a loss in seven consecutive outings and is coming off a good outing against the Marlins on September 19.

In that game, Zimmermann went six innings, gave up two runs on six hits, struck out seven, and walked one on 95 pitches in a win. He struggled with his command at times, but was able to put together a quality outing. The 29-year-old right-hander has held opponents to a .214 batting average in his last four starts.

Against the Phillies this season, Zimmermann is 0-1 with a 5.84 ERA in two starts. Back on September 14, he gave up six runs on seven hits over six innings as he was not able to hold a 6-2 Nats lead. Cody Asche (.247, 11 HR, 33 RBI’s) is 6-for-15 against him with a home run and three RBI’s in his career.

Advantage: I expect the Nats fans to give Zimmermann a good ovation tonight at Nats Park and this will be the kind of game where Zimmermann will like to end the year on a good note. Of course, it will be interesting to see how he handles the stiff neck that has bothered him and if the offense can adjust against Eickhoff during the game. With that being said, give me the Nationals to get this win.

Next: Tomorrow's Matchup