November 19, 2019

Washington Nationals Series Preview: Philadelphia Phillies

For the first time this season the Nationals open up a series in sole possession of first place. After a two-game sweep of the Yankees (and two days off in four days), the Nationals (24-17) are a half-game in front of the Mets as they welcome the Phillies (18-25) to Nationals Park.

The Phillies still have the likes of Cole Hamels and Jonathan Papelbon, likely to be surrounded by trade rumors until the trade deadline in July. But they’ve won seven out of nine in their best stretch of the season so far, and have shown no urgency to unload some of their veteran chips.

The Nationals are red hot, having won five in a row. They are also 12-6 at Nationals Park so far this year.

*The Last Time…

This is already the third series between the Nationals and Phillies this season. The teams played seven times in April, with the Phillies taking two out of three in Philadelphia and the Nationals taking three out of four in Washington.

*In The Other Dugout

The Phillies were not expected to do much in 2015. They’re not exactly blowing away expectations, but they have had a recent stretch of success. A six game winning streak helped lift them out of the division’s basement, and coupled with the Marlins’ current seven game losing streak, has the Phillies a game and a half in front of Miami. The Marlins suddenly look like a better bet to be the laughingstock of the National League East rather than the Phillies.

Because no matter how bad things get in Philadelphia this year, they are not very likely to see their general manager take over managerial duties on the field.

*Matchup To Watch

As though we needed any reason to believe Bryce Harper will stay hot: he was 2 for 5 with two home runs in the two games O’Sullivan pitched against the Nationals in April.

*Probables

Friday, 7:05pm: Sean O’Sullivan (1-2, 3.68 ERA) vs. Max Scherzer (4-3, 1.75 ERA)

Saturday, 4:05pm: Cole Hamels (4-3, 3.24 ERA) vs. Stephen Strasburg (3-4, 5.98 ERA)

Sunday, 1:35pm: Aaron Harang (4-3, 1.82 ERA) vs. Gio Gonzalez (3-2, 4.94 ERA)

%d bloggers like this: