The Phillies start a seven games, two cities, road trip, as they visit the Washington Nationals tonight in their brand new ballpark, Nationals Park. The game will start at 7:10 pm Eastern. The Phils’ starter will be Brett Myers (2-4, 5.91), who is coming off his worst outing of the season against the Braves on May 14, where he would go only four and one-thirds innings, giving up eight runs, six of which were earned, in the Phils’ 8-6 defeat. Myers has lost three of his last five starts, during which he has given up twenty-seven runs, twenty-four of which were earned, on 43 hits, while pitching a combined twenty-eight and one-thirds innings. During those games, he appear to have lost the speed on his pitches, then, when he got that back, where he wanted to throw them. Myers will need to get back on the winning track, especially as he faces a weak team like the Nationals. The Nationals will counter with Tim Redding (5-3, 3.55), whom the Phils have met earlier this season on April 2, when he defeated Kyle Kendrick in a pitcher’s duel, 1-0. His last start saw him defeat the Mets on May 14, where he went six innings, giving up an earned run on two hits, in the Nationals’ 5-3 win. He will be looking for his sixth win of the season, his second win in a row, and to defeat the Phillies for the second time this season.
The Phils’ are technically tied for second place with the New York Mets, trailing them by .004 percentage points. Both clubs are trailing the first place Marlins by a game while staying a game ahead of the fourth place Braves. As the Phils play tonight against the Nationals, the other three teams in the National League East, the Marlins, the Mets, and the Braves, all have the night off. A Phillies win against the lackluster Nationals would leave the Phils in second place, and a half game behind the Marlins.
The Phillies’ offense, although hot at times, was unable to get a key hit in yesterday’s game, especially when they had twice loaded the bases, thus helping contribute to their lost to the Blue Jays. The offense will need to beat up on bad teams like the Blue Jays and the Nationals, else they will go nowhere this post season.