OK, no one expects a sweep in Washington, but let's be honest. We'd love two victories in this series.
Luckily, the Phillies have what are probably their three best pitchers going in the series.
So let's break it down.
On personnel notes, Adam Morgan is gone and we're waiting for a second opinion on Clay Buchholtz' forearm injury.
GamesFriday April 14, 4:05 p.m.: Aaron Nola (1-0, 4.50) vs. Stephen Strasberg (1-1, 3.21)
Saturday, April 15, 1:05 p.m.: Jeremy Hellickson (1-0, 0.90) vs. Tanner Roark (2-0, 4.09)
Sunday, April 16, 1:35 p.m.: Jered Eickhoff (0-1, 1.95) vs. Gio Gonzalez (1-0, 0.69)
What to know about the NatsThe Phils laid a beatdown on Washington last Saturday. They got a nice victory on Sunday two. But Washington is a great ballclub. It's got hitting to spare and brilliant pitching. Thankfully, the Phillies avoid ace Max Scherzer this series.
What to look for
The Phillies offense looks a lot better so far this year. Sure, it's skewed a bit by the outburst against the Nationals on Saturday, but the team has 34 walks in nine games. That's almost 4 walks a game, a big improvement over last season. The Phils are seventh in runs scored, fourth in OPS, fifth in batting average, third in stolen bases and 11th in home runs.
The Phillies scored more than three runs twice in their first 15 games last season. They've done it in seven of nine games this year.
It would be nice to see Tommy Joseph and Cameron Rupp break out this series. Heck, just putting up slightly better numbers would help.
The Phils will face two tough righties. So Michael Saunders will probably be an important cog in the lineup this weekend.