It was not a walk-off win last night, but it was an 8th inning shocker win from the Washington Nationals. The Nats and Phillies enter this game with identical W/L records, and after the conclusion of this game — one team will have sole possession of 4th place and the other team will occupy last place in the NL East. Today marks the first time since April 10, that the Nats have not be in 5th place.
This game will have the Nats lefty MacKenzie on the mound after his best start of the season. Gore actually had six scoreless innings in the books last weekend when he was summoned out to the mound for the 7th inning and gave up a home run that changed the 2-0 lead to 2-1. Gore threw to a season-high 106 pitches in that game. While the Nats would like him to go deep into this game like his last start, it is always a question of: At what price?
Today’s challenge will be managing the bullpen. Everyone should be available except for Hunter Harvey and Kyle Finnegan — even if they tell manager Dave Martinez that they can pitch today if needed. Both relievers have thrown at least 50-pitches in the past three days with Finnegan at 57, and Harvey warmed-up and wasn’t used in Tuesday’s game.
“Nobody really expected us to be here. I think we take a few series like we have over the last month, and we could be sitting pretty good here in a few months.”— outfielder Lane Thomas on the Nats in the standings
Here is how they rank:
The Phillies will have lefty Matt Strahm start this game, and manager Dave Martinez will start his lefty, Corey Dickerson, and not go to the right-handed Stone Garrett. Martinez might be doing this because he is thinking that Strahm won’t pitch long in this game.
Here is your Baseball Savant Statcast link for the game.
Philadelphia Phillies vs. Washington Nationals
Stadium: Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.
1st Pitch: 4:05 pm EDT
Radio: 106.7 The Fan radio and via the MLB app
Line-up subject to change (without notice):