Preparing for a sweep of the Nationals.

The Phillies (68-58) will conclude their three games home stand with the luckless Nationals (44-83) as they look to sweep the Nats. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will begin at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be veteran pitcher Jamie Moyer (11-7, 3.64), who is coming off a gem of a start against the Padres on August 15 as he outduel fellow 1984 Draftie Greg Maddux. Moyer would pitch seven shut out innings, giving up only three hits, in the Phillies’ 1-0 win. In his last start against the Nationals on July 30, he would pick up the win as he pitched six innings, giving up only three earned runs on six hits, in the Phillies’ 8-5 win. He will be going for his twelfth win of the year, while also going for his fourteenth straight start where he has given up three runs or less. The Nationals will counter with Tim Redding (8-8, 4.66), who is coming off a hard luck lost to the Rockies on August 15, where he went six innings, giving up four earned runs on seven hits, in the Nats’ 4-3 lost. In his last start against the Phillies on July 30, the Phillies would finally get to him, as they knocked in seven earned runs on ten hits as he would only be able to go four innings plus five batters, in the Nationals’ 8-5 lost. He will be trying to stop a personal two games losing streak while trying to stop the Nationals’ team losing streak at twelve games.

The Phillies are still waiting for the offense to wake up and get hot to go along with their much more solid looking starting pitching and their stellar bullpen. Although it got more hits in last night’s game than it did during most of the road trip to the West Coast, and the hits were spread around between both the top and bottom part of the line-up, the fact remains that the bats haven’t busted a game wide open in quite a while. Meanwhile, the starting pitching is coming along, as Brett Myers has rediscovered his grove, Jamie Moyer continue to confound hitters and Cole Hamels, in spite of two bad outings in July, remains the team’s ace, eating up the innings while striking out batters. Once Kyle Kendrick has decided to stop being timid and make hitters hit ground balls again and Joe Blanton goes back to eating up innings, the rotation will hopefully become one of the best in the league, something that is going to be needed in what is presently a three teams pennant race in the East, which could end up being a two teams race if the Marlins continue to go southward.

The Phillies enter tonight’s game still a game and a half behind the Mets, who are looking to sweep the fading Braves. They are ahead of the Marlins by three and a half games, although the Marlins are presently tied with the Giants in an afternoon game on the coast. The Phillies will be looking to either stay close or get closer to the Mets after tonight’s game, while preparing to get even with the Dodgers for last week’s fiasco in LA.


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