The Washington Nationals have faced all of the teams in the NL East this season except for the Phillies. Tonight will start the first series of the season against these NL foes. The Nats were in first place just six games ago, and after losing 5 of 6 games, the Nats enter this game with at 13-17 record. The Phillies were marching to a victory on Saturday and had three blown saves in that game. They gave back a 2-run lead in the 9th, a 1-run lead in the 11th and a 3-run lead in the 12th. Both of these teams have lost two in a row and one will be victorious while they other will be mired in a 3-game losing streak.
The Nats must get zeroes from Erick Fedde and hope that the Nats offense can combine for some points on the board. Like most of the teams in the NL East, there is little consistency which has kept the Nats close to the top. The Mets are riding a 5-game winning streak to claim first place currently, and the Nats are 3.5 games back and tied for fourth place.
With Fedde going for the Nats, the Phillies have right-hander Chase Anderson going and he has an ERA at 5.54. Once again, you would think the Nats could get going against this guy with most of the Nats having solid career numbers against him except for Josh Bell who enters this game batting .141.
Once again, manager Dave Martinez is batting Bell and Kyle Schwarber directly behind him. If the Phillies bring in a lefty in the late innings to face Soto, Bell and Schwarber, the Nats have not shown recent abilities from those players to hit lefties. Maybe it is just that small sample sizes do not count and these Nats players are ready to breakout.
Many of these Nats batters know Anderson from his days in Milwaukee, and since the Nationals have Josh Harrison, Starlin Castro, Jordy Mercer, Bell and Schwarber from NL Central teams, there are some decent sized sample sizes in the matchups. Bell is the one Nats player with a questionable stat line, and you wonder if Martinez thought about Mercer or Ryan Zimmerman playing 1st base tonight. By the way, where has Zimmerman been?
Philadelphia Phillies vs. Washington Nationals
Stadium: Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.
1st Pitch: 7:05 pm EDT
TV: MASN, NBCSports Philly, MLB.TV
Nats Radio: 106.7 FM The Fan; SiriusXM® ( Streaming Internet 869)
Line-ups subject to change without notice: