September 18, 2014

Washington Nationals vs Philadelphia Phillies Series Preview

After dramatically taking two-of-three from the San Francisco Giants, the Washington Nationals now head north for a three-game series with the Philadelphia Phillies.

Teams

Washington Nationals (75-54, 1st in NL East) vs Philadelphia Phillies (58-72, 5th in NL East)

Schedule

Game 1: Monday, August 25 @ 7:05 PM EST

Game 2: Tuesday, August 26 @ 7:05 PM EST

Game 3: Wednesday, August 27 @ 7:05 PM EST

Probable Pitchers (Season Stats; Career vs Opponent)

Game 1: Tanner Roark (12-7, 2.80; 2-1, 5.54) vs A.J. Burnett (6-14, 4.42; 10-5, 3.39)

Game 2: Gio Gonzalez (6-9, 3.83; 5-4, 3.06) vs Cole Hamels (7-6, 2.53; 15-7, 2.54)

Game 3: Doug Fister (12-4, 2.38; 2-1, 1.64) vs Kyle Kendrick (6-11, 4.93; 5-10, 5.00)

Players to Watch

Washington:

  • Denard Span: .301 BA, 34 doubles, 7 triples, 27 RBI, 27 SB
  • Ian Desmond: .247 BA, .423 SLG, 18 doubles, 21 HR, 79 RBI, 16 SB
  • Jayson Werth: .289 BA, .379 OBP, .445 SLG, 30 doubles, 13 HR, 70 RBI
  • Bryce Harper: .265 BA, .343 OBP, 8 doubles, 7 HR, 25 RBI (70 games)

Philadelphia:

  • Ben Revere: .314 BA, .333 OBP, 147 H, 15 RBI, 38 SB
  • Marlon Byrd: .269 BA, .466 SLG, 24 doubles, 23 HR, 75 RBI
  • Ryan Howard: .222 BA, 14 doubles, 19 HR, 80 RBI
  • Chase Utley: .280 BA, .349 OBP, 29 doubles, 5 triples, 11 HR, 69 RBI

Notables on the Injury Report

Washington:

  • Asdrubal Cabrera is listed as day-to-day with soreness in his side.
  • Ryan Zimmerman (hamstring) and Nate McLouth (shoulder) are out, as well.

Philadelphia:

  • Mike Adams is the Phillies lone key player on they injury report as he’s on the 60-day DL with a shoulder injury.

Series Notes

Monday night’s game marks the 14th time this year that these two teams will square off. Washington currently leads the season series, 8-5. In Philadelphia, they have found mild success, putting together an even 3-3 record.

For the first time since late-April, the Phillies have won consecutive series. This past week, they took 2-of-3 from the Seattle Mariners and the St. Louis Cardinals. Both of those series were played in Philadelphia. They are a team with confidence that Washington should be careful with.

Speaking of confidence, there aren’t many teams that have more of it than the Nationals. Winners of 12 of their last 13, the Nationals have only lost two series in the second half of the season. One of those two series, however, was against the Phillies.

No matter how many years he’s been in Washington, one of the biggest story lines when these two teams play is the return of Jayson Werth. Against his former team, he’s experienced some ups and downs with a .245 batting average. In 175 plate appearances against Philadelphia, he’s collected 36 hits, including 10 doubles, a triple, eight homers and 26 RBI.

It appears as though Bryce Harper is beginning to turn things around. This August, he’s batting .274 with a .340 on-base percentage. He’s picked up a hit in six of his last seven games, and has four homers with 12 RBI this month, as well.

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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+!

About Brian Skinnell

Brian Skinnell is a Staff Writer for District Sports Page covering the Nationals and Wizards. He is currently earning a degree in Sports Communications at Shepherd University. Brian was the author of the D.C. sports blog "The Skinny on Sports" but has been a contributor to Yahoo Sports and Rant Sports in recent years. You can follow Brian on Twitter @Brian_Skinnell.

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