Jeremy Hellickson (4-3, 3.80 ERA) vs. Stephen Strasburg (9-0, 2.85) – 7:05 p.m ET, broadcast on MASN/WUSA9
The Nats will be facing Hellickson for the fourth time in as many series tonight. In his last start against the Brewers on June 4, Hellickson went five innings, gave up three runs on seven hits, struck out four, and walked three in a no-decision.
One of the things that were surprising about that start from Hellickson was his lack of control. It was only the third time in his last ten starts that he had three walks or more. In the month of May, he was 2-2 with a 3.47 ERA in six outings. His 69 strikeouts are third in the Phillies’ rotation (second in walks).
This season, Hellickson is 1-1 with a 3.18 ERA in three starts against the Nats. Back on May 30, he went seven innings, gave up a solo home run on three hits, and struck out eight on only 79 pitches, but he got a no-decision. Daniel Murphy is 3-for-9 (.333) against Hellickson with a RBI in his career.
Even though Strasburg did not pick up his tenth win on Saturday, he still remained undefeated. Against the Reds, he went 5.1 innings, gave up three runs on four hits, struck out ten, and walked two in a no-decision.
In that Reds outing, Strasburg struggled coming back from the first of two rain delays. He gave up a two-run home run to Joey Votto in the sixth that gave the Reds a 3-2 lead. He also had to leave the game in that inning because of cramping in his calf.
Against the Phillies, Strasburg is 7-2 with a 2.78 ERA in 16 career starts. Maikel Franco is 3-for-7 (.429) with a home run and two RBI’s vs. Strasburg in his career.
Prediction: The one question going into this game is how healthy is Strasburg? If he is healthy, I will take the Nats to win a close pitcher’s duel and get Strasburg that tenth win. Plus, it is tough to go against a pitcher who has four double-digit strikeout games in his last six starts.
Next: Tomorrow's Matchup