This weekend, the Washington Nationals host the Philadelphia Phillies for a four game series
This week, the Washington Nationals (82-57) started off their ten game homestand with a sweep of the Atlanta Braves. Anthony Rendon had a grand slam and five RBI’s in two games and Wilson Ramos had the walk-off single in last night’s 11-inning win, just to name a couple of positive highlights.
But, the one major negative storyline from this series is the health status of Stephen Strasburg. Strasburg left last night’s game in the third inning with an elbow injury. This is the latest on Strasburg’s injury:
Right now, the Nats have a 8.5 game lead over the Mets in the NL East and their magic number to clinch the division is 15 games. Tonight, they continue their homestand when they begin a four game series against the Philadelphia Phillies (62-77).
So far this season, the Nats are 11-4 against the Phillies and they have won nine consecutive games. On offense, they have four players who have eight or more RBI’s against the Phillies this season. This includes Jayson Werth (three home runs, 11 RBI’s) and Bryce Harper (three home runs, nine RBI’s).
Since that last series with the Nats (August 29-31), the Phillies went 2-4 in six games. They were swept in a weekend series with the Braves and they won two out of three on the road against the Marlins.
During the month of August, the Phillies scored the third fewest runs of any team in the National League (112). Aaron Altherr led the team in RBI’s (16), but one player to keep an eye on is shortstop Freddy Galvis. Galvis, who had six home runs and 15 RBI’s in August, has two home runs against the Nats this year.
On the mound, Philadelphia had the second highest team ERA in the NL (5.50). None of their starters had an ERA lower than four with Jeremy Hellickson leading the team in ERA (4.37). As for the bullpen, Jeanmar Gomez has eight saves in his last nine chances and Hector Neris had an ERA of 0.61 in August.
Before the series starts tonight, check out my breakdown of the four pitching matchups to see who has the edge:
Next: Tonight's Matchup