Washington Nationals vs. Phillies Series Preview (9/8-9/11)

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Aug 31, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Freddy Galvis (13) hits a solo home run during the fifth inning against the Washington Nationals at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 31, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Freddy Galvis (13) hits a solo home run during the fifth inning against the Washington Nationals at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /
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Washington Nationals
Sep 3, 2016; New York City, NY, USA; Washington Nationals pitcher Tanner Roark (57) delivers a pitch against the New York Mets during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports /

Jake Thompson (1-5, 6.48) vs. Tanner Roark (14-8, 2.89) – 7:05 p.m, MASN

Thompson’s losing streak reached four games after his last start against the Braves. On September 4, he went seven innings, gave up one run on four hits, struck out six, and walked four on 100 pitches in the loss.

Despite losing four games in a row, the 24-year-old right-hander has gone seven innings in each of his last two starts. But, he has walked four batters in three of his last four outings and he has 18 walks in six outings this season.

When he pitches, the Phillies don’t score many runs as evident by the two runs they have in the last four games combined. Against the Nats on August 29, he went seven innings, gave up two runs on seven hits, struck out three, and walked one on 111 pitches in a loss. Jayson Werth had a home run in the first inning of that game.

As for Roark, he is coming off of a loss in his last start against the Mets on September 3. He went five innings, gave up two runs on four hits, struck out three, and walked four on 96 pitches. The four walks were the most Roark has had in any outing this season.

While Roark has a 2.69 ERA in ten starts since the All-Star Break, he has 24 walks, which is 11 fewer than his first half numbers (19 games). Plus, the right-hander wasn’t helped by his offense, which went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position that night.

This season, Roark has been dominant against the Phillies. In four starts, he is 3-0 with a 0.64 ERA (two runs allowed in 28 innings). Maikel Franco is 4-for-14 against him with three RBI’s.

Prediction: I did like the way Thompson adjusted after the rough first inning against the Nats on August 29 and I expect he would put up a strong outing tomorrow night. However, this season, it’s tough to pick against Roark when he has been great against a lackluster Phillies offense. Nats get the win here.

 

Next: Saturday's Matchup

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