The Washington Nationals are 7-5 since the All-Star break and return home to kickoff an eight-game homestand with a four-game series against the Philadelphia Phillies.
Washington Nationals (58-47, 1st in NL East) vs Philadelphia Phillies (47-61, 5th in NL East)
Game 1: Thursday, July 31 @ 7:05 PM EST
Game 2: Friday, August 1 @ 7:05 PM EST
Game 3: Saturday, August 2 @ 7:05 PM EST
Game 4: Sunday, August 3 @ 1:35 PM EST
Probable Pitchers (Season Stats; Career vs Opponent)
Game 1: Gio Gonzalez (6-6, 3.65; 5-3, 2.48) vs Cliff Lee (4-5, 3.78; 6-4, 2.74)
Game 2: Doug Fister (10-2, 2.69; 2-0, 1.20) vs Roberto Hernandez (5-8, 4.14; 2-1, 1.61)
Game 3: Jordan Zimmermann (6-5, 3.17; 5-6, 3.82) vs A.J. Burnett (6-10, 4.15; 10-4, 3.37)
Game 4: Stephen Strasburg (7-9, 3.55; 3-1, 2.41) vs Cole Hamels (6-5, 2.55; 15-6, 2.63)
Players to Watch
- Denard Span: .288 BA, .348 OBP, 29 doubles, 21 RBI, 20 SB
- Ian Desmond: .250 BA, .433 SLG, 18 doubles, 17 HR, 64 RBI, 10 SB
- Bryce Harper: .261 BA, 7 doubles, 2 triples, 3 HR, 13 RBI
- Tyler Clippard: 45 IP, 1.80 ERA, 59 K, 11.80 K/9
- Ben Revere: .301 BA, 9 doubles, 5 triples, 12 RBI, 29 SB
- Marlon Byrd: .270 BA, 22 doubles, 20 HR, 60 RBI
- Ryan Howard: .223 BA, 16 HR, 63 RBI, 11 doubles
- Chase Utley: .289 BA, .355 OBP, 26 doubles, 3 triples, 9 HR, 54 RBI
Notables on the Injury Report
Ryan Zimmerman is on the 15-day DL with a hamstring strain. There is currently no timetable for a return and Bill Ladson of MLB.com reported that it could possibly be a Grade 3 strain (the worst kind). Jayson Werth is listed as day-to-day after spraining his right ankle agains the Miami Marlins. He played Wednesday and went 1-for-3 with an RBI.
Marlon Byrd is currently listed as day-to-day on the injury report for a foot injury. However, he did play on Wednesday and you can expect him to play on Thursday. Relief pitcher Matt Adams is on the 60-day DL for a shoulder injury. With a 2.12 ERA, that’s a significant blow to the bullpen.
This year, the Nationals are 6-3 against the Phillies and have gone 5-1 since dropping 2-of-3 in Philadelphia this May. The last time these two faced off in Washington, the Nationals completed a three-game sweep in June behind Zimmermann, Strasburg and Fister.
Against his former team, Jayson Werth is batting .292 with a .486 on-base percentage. He’s hit seven doubles, a triple, 11 homers and 43 RBI against the Phillies. Two of those 11 homers and 10 of those 43 RBI have come in nine games this season.
In 12 games since the All-Star break, the Nationals have gone 7-5. Last year, the Nationals went 4-8 over that same span. When you consider the hot streak that they ended the season on, this is an encouraging sign that they’re beginning the proverbial second-half of the season well.
Brian Skinnell is a sports writer born and raised in the Washington, D.C.-metro area and covers the Washington Nationals, Wizards and MiLB for District Sports Page. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+!