By: Greg Frank
The Phillies ended their 10-game
road trip with a thrilling come from behind victory in LA 9-8, closing the trip
with an 8-2 record. After a day off Thursday, the Phillies welcome the Washington
Nationals to Citizens Bank Park, a place where the home team has yet to play a
game this month. Washington is coming
off a series loss at the hands of the Chicago Cubs, who have perhaps been the
National League’s 2nd hottest team going 9-2 in their last 11. Despite having already played 9 of the 18
games in the season series, the Phillies have not played a game against
Washington since June 1st. In
those first nine games of the season series the Phillies are 6-3.
to continue his masterful 2011 campaign the Phillies send Cole Hamels to the
bump Friday night. Of the pitchers in
the starting rotation Cole Hamels has the 2nd best ERA at 2.53,
worse only to Roy Halladay’s 2.51 mark.
Hamels tossed a complete game earlier this year against Washington in a
May 3rd, 4-1 win. Hamels will
be opposed by Livan Hernandez who sports a 6-11 record to go with a 4.11 ERA
coming into Friday night’s outing.
Hernandez was the losing pitcher in that May 3rd complete
game for Hamels, though Hernandez beat the Phillies back on April 12th. Saturday night’s matchup features Jon Lannan
for Washington, a pitcher who took home a win in the last meeting between these
two teams on June 1st, against Roy Oswalt for the Phillies. Oswalt was the loser in that same game on
June 1st though it’s unsure how healthy he was as that was shortly
before he was sent to the disabled list.
The Sunday finale has Roy Halladay slated for the Phillies while
Washington has yet to announce their starter for the matinee.
first two games of the series against the Dodgers the Phillies offensive
production wasn’t great but like most games this year it was enough. Scoring 7
runs in the first two games the Phillies erupted for 9 runs in the third game
and they needed all 9 of them. Ryan
Howard had a big game Wednesday going 2-3 with the go-ahead 2-run home run in
the 7th as well as walking twice.
Washington struggled offensively in their three games in the windy city
as they failed to score more than 3 runs in a single game during the 3-game
series. Despite that they have some
young talent in their lineup in Michael Morse and Danny Espinosa, and we’ve all
seen what Jayson Werth can do when he’s swinging a hot bat.
the Phillies have played lately nothing can stop them and Wednesday’s game is a
great example of that. Down 6-0 the
Phillies could have easily decided to pack it in and be content with a 7-3 trip
and head back home. Instead, they
rallied for an impressive victory.
There’s no reason to think that Washington is going to come into
Philadelphia and slow them down. The
pitching’s been great, the hitting has been opportunistic, and while the
Nationals seem to be improving this year, they’re not ready for the big stage
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