Washington Nationals at Phillies Series Preview (5/30-6/1)

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May 28, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Philadelphia Phillies center fielder Odubel Herrera (37) hits a bunt single during the first inning against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
May 28, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Philadelphia Phillies center fielder Odubel Herrera (37) hits a bunt single during the first inning against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports /
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Washington Nationals
May 27, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Max Scherzer (31) throws to the St. Louis Cardinals during the first inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports /

Max Scherzer (5-4, 4.05) vs. Adam Morgan (1-3, 6.67) – 7:05 p.m, MASN2

The problem for Scherzer in his last start was the third inning when his lack of command ended up backfiring. He did go seven innings, but Scherzer gave up five runs on eight hits, struck out six, and walked four in a loss. The big mistake was a grand slam hit by Stephen Piscotty in that third inning.

Even though Scherzer had his command issues, he did end up retiring the last 14 batters in order to end his outing. But, that outing against St. Louis was the second time he has walked four batters in a game and he hasn’t won back-to-back games since his first two outings of the year.

In two starts against the Phillies this season, Scherzer is 1-0 with a 2.77 ERA. However, despite not having a loss, Philadelphia is hitting .250 against him (second highest batting average of the NL East teams this season). Herrera is 5-for-16 (.313) against Scherzer with a solo home run.

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Morgan recently joined the Phillies’ rotation back on April 29 against the Indians. On Friday, he struggled in his outing against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. He went four innings, gave up six runs on eight hits, struck out three, and walked one in a loss.

The 26-year-old left-hander is in his second full season in the big leagues after making his debut in June of last year. In those six games he’s started this year, he has only gone past the fifth inning once and teams are hitting .292 against him. According to Fangraphs, Morgan has an average velocity of about 91 miles per hour on his fastball to go with a slider, curveball, and changeup.

While Morgan has not faced the Washington Nationals in his career, two batters have had two at-bats against him. Those two are Daniel Murphy (0-for-2) and Ben Revere (1-for-2).

Next: Nats Team Awards At 1st Quarter Mark

Prediction: Even though the Nats haven’t had much experience against Morgan, I think they will find a way to win the rubber game of this series behind a strong outing from Scherzer as he bounces back from a bad outing against the Cardinals.

 

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