Since the last time we saw the Nationals, they took two out of three from the Reds in Cincinnati. The Nationals are actually one game worse record wise than the Reds which is crazy considering the Reds were a few defensive mishaps from being tied at 1 in the 2010 NLDS against the Phillies. The Phillies are coming off taking two out of three from Arizona Diamondbacks. The Dbacks came in on a six game winning streak and have the third best record in the National League since the All-Star break. Since DC fans only believe in the Capitals at the given moment, Nationals Park often becomes CBP South for Phillies fans. (Thus explaining the headline) Two great memories took place for Phillies fans in CBP South which were 2010 Opening Day when 40,000 Phillies fans booed the Nationals on their own field and the 2010 NL East was clinched on a rainy night last September.
Game 1- Livan Hernandez (7-11, 4.21ERA) vs. Roy Oswalt (5-7, 3.84 ERA). Livan was fantastic last Friday vs. the Phillies. He pitched into the seventh inning and allowed one unearned run. He even knocked in two runs on his own. Hernandez is either really good or gets bombed. He doesn’t throw very hard, topping out around 85 MPH, but throws up slow, slower, and even slower off-speed pitches. At times, he befuddles hitters, other times, hitters make him look very AAAish. The Phillies are hitting .300 against Livan as a team with Ryan Howard, Hunter Pence, Raul Ibanez, and John Mayberry posting an OPS north of .900 against him. Roy Oswalt was much more efficient in his second start since coming off the DL. Last Saturday, Oswalt pitched seven innings, giving up three runs, six hits on 96 pitches. It was Oswalt’s first win since June 12th against the Cubs. His career record against the Nationals is 6-4. Laynce Nix is 11 for 23 against Roy while Ryan Zimmerman is 7 fo 20 lifetime against Oswalt.
Game 2-John Lannan (8-8, 3.55 ERA) vs. Kyle Kendrick (7-5, 3.25 ERA) Lannan made one of the plays of the year when he flipped a ball to force out Ryan Howard at home in his last start. That was about all that went right for him that night. Lannan gave up seven runs in three innings, but only one of them was earned. His career record dropped to 1-11 against the Phillies. As one would expect with a 1-11 lifetime record, the Phillies have five players that post an OPS over .900 against John Lannan. Kyle Kendrick makes the start instead of Cole Hamels. Hamels complained of shoulder stiffness in his last start and will be skipped once. His MRI came back with no significant damage. Kendrick’s last relief appearance came on Friday when he pitched three innings after Hamels struggled in his outing. Kendrick’s ERA is 6.36 against the Nationals.
Game 3- Chien-Ming Wang (2-2, 4.22 ERA) vs. Roy Halladay (15-4, 2.51 ERA) This will be Wang’s fifth start since recovering from his shoulder surgery. Wang has only struck out three hitters in 21 1/3 innings of work which makes Kyle Kendrick look like Nolan Ryan. Safe to safe, his hard sinker is a thing of the past. Halladay was scheduled to start against the Nationals in the last series before Mother Nature said no. On Tuesday, Doc was incredible for eight innings against the Diamondbacks before giving up his first lead in the ninth inning since 2007. He finished with fourteen strikeouts and his third complete game loss of the season. He’s 11-1 in his career vs. the Nationals.