Friday, April 14, 2017

Series Preview: Phillies look to keep up strong work against the Nationals in DC

The Phillies won five games against the Nationals last year. If they sweep the Nationals this week, they'll have that many wins against the Nats in April alone.

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.

Games

Friday 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 Nats

The 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.

2 comments:

Bob D said...

Elniery Garcia suspended for PED. Since he is on 40 man he can be put on inactive list and open a spot on 40 man roster. That means no one will be designated for assignment unless the team wants to cut ties with. Look for Vendetti or another non roster reliever be added. Also if Buchholtz is DL bound then it is possible Morgan returns to team (normally a 10 day waiting period occurs unless injury). If Buchholtz goes on 60 day DL then another roster spot is open.

Pat said...

Yeah, the Suspension might actually save the Phillies from losing a player to a DFA.
I'm going to post something on Saturday about which starter could replace Buchholtz.