After sweeping the Braves in a four-game series, the Philadelphia Phillies are next for the Nats at Citizens Bank Park
Yes, the Nationals’ 7-1 start is one of the best in team history. Washington just wrapped up a four-game sweep of the Atlanta Braves at home. It was a great series that showed off the potential of this lineup and the consistency of the starting pitching.
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But don’t over-celebrate. There likely won’t be anything of substance on the team until April 29 when the Nats visit the St. Louis Cardinals. The first month’s schedule features only five games against non-division opponents, and three of those are against the struggling Twins. Washington doesn’t play the co-favorite New York Mets until May 17.
A three-game series against Philidelphia begins tonight at Citizens Bank Park. Washington came on top of the head-to-head matchup last season with a 12-7 record. The Phillies are a rebuilding squad expected to be at the bottom of the barrel along with the Braves this season. However, they’ve won three in a row and own a 5-5 record thus far.
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Potential star third baseman Maikel Franco is batting .333 with two home runs and five RBI. The 23-year-old is one of their brightest offensive player along with center-fielder Odubel Herrera (.242, one home run, five RBI’s through ten games).
Vincent Velasquez, who was acquired from the Houston Astros via a trade this winter, pitched maybe the best game so far in 2016 on Thursday against the San Diego Padres: A complete game three-hitter with 16 strikeouts. Fortunately, for the Nats, he isn’t pitching in this series.
The first of the 19 games ahead between these teams features Joe Ross and Jeremy Hellickson on the mound. I’ll break down that matchup and the two following in the slides ahead.
Next: Tonight's Matchup