Game #29 Bryce Harper rests; Nats face the pitcher they traded for Jonathan Papelbon

The Phillies starting pitcher tonight is right-handed Nick Pivetta who will always be tied to the Nationals as the farmhand who was traded for Jonathan Papelbon in 2015. Now Pivetta will face the Nats, and he is lucky in many ways, but particularly that he won’t have to face Bryce Harper tonight since Bryce is nursing a tweaked left groin.

Stephen Strasburg is starting for the Nationals tonight, and he hopes to get back to his ace form as he didn’t get the run support in his 7 inning effort against the Mets on Saturday night. Strasburg was pitching more to contact in that game instead of hunting the strikeouts. That helped keep his pitch count very low, and he completed 7.0 full innings on only 94 pitches.

As mentioned, no Harper tonight and Chris Heisey will start in his place, and Matt Wieters will also be back in the line-up after battling the flu that has been going around MLB clubhouses.

Here is my scouting on Pivetta, he is a hard throwing righty who averaged 95 mph in his last start with a max velocity of 97.4. He throws a slurvy slider and a slower curveball at 77 mph and will mix in the occasional changeup.

The rain has just about stopped in Philadelphia so it looks like they will get the game in tonight. It is now 68° in Philly, and expect the temps to drop at nightfall to 64° with rain after midnight.

Washington Nationals at Philadelphia Phillies
Stadium: Citizens Bank Ballpark, Philadelphia, PA
1st Pitch:  7:05 pm EDT
TV: MASN, Comcast Philadelphia , MLB.TV
Nats Radio: 106.7 FM The Fan; SiriusXM®  (Internet 869)

Line-ups  (subject to change without notice):

  1. Trea Turner SS
  2. Jayson Werth LF
  3. Daniel Murphy 2B
  4. Ryan Zimmerman 1B
  5. Anthony Rendon 3B
  6. Michael Taylor CF
  7. Chris Heisey RF
  8. Matt Wieters C
  9. Stephen Strasburg RHP
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