Game 4 Preview: Williams debuts as Phillies open series with Nationals

As the starting pitchers have gone, so have the Phillies (1-2). David Buchanan joined Cole Hamels on Thursday night in first-start struggles, allowing six runs in the third inning allowing the Boston Red Sox to claim the series. Jerome Williams makes his first impression on the 2015 season Friday night.

The Phillies now welcome what many believe are not only the favorite to win the NL East, but also take the National League title and challenge for a World Series. The Washington Nationals (1-2) and their potent pitching staff come into Citizens Bank Park. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

Starting Pitching Matchup

Washington Nationals (1-2)

Philadelphia Phillies (1-2)

LHP

Gio Gonzalez

2014: (10-10, 3.57 ERA)

RHP

Jerome Williams

2014: (4-2, 2.83 ERA)

Williams struggled throughout spring training, allowing 17 runs – 14 earned – in his last three spring starts. He was 0-4 with a 7.40 ERA in spring training. But that is all a thing of the past as Williams takes the mound for the first time in the regular season. As a free-agent pickup late in the season, Williams turned in a solid 4-2 record and 2.83 ERA in nine starts with the Phillies. In four career games and three starts against the Nationals, Williams is 0-1 with a 4.58 ERA.

A former Phillies prospect, Gio Gonzalez had started his career as a thorn in the Phillies side. But last season, the Phillies finally managed to rattle the left-hander. Gonzalez was 1-2 with a 3.91 ERA in four starts against the Phillies in 2014. His career numbers against the Phillies, including 2014, are a 6-4 record and a 3.05 ERA in 12 starts.

Starting Lineups

Washington Nationals (1-2)

Philadelphia Phillies (1-2)

 

Position/Bats

Player

 

Position/Bats

Player

1

 CF/R

Michael Taylor

1

CF/L

Ben Revere

2

 3B/R

Yunel Escobar

2

SS/S

Freddy Galvis

3

 RF/L

Bryce Harper

3

2B/L

Chase Utley

4

 1B/R

Ryan Zimmerman

4

1B/R

Darin Ruf

5

 C/R

Wilson Ramos

5

RF/R

Jeff Francoeur

6

 SS/L

Ian Desmond

6

LF/L

Grady Sizemore

7

 2B/R

Dan Uggla

7

C/R

Cameron Rupp

8

 LF/R

Tyler Moore

8

3B/S

Andres Blanco

9

 P/R

Gio Gonzalez

9

P/R

Jerome Williams

The Phillies are rolling out another very different lineup. Ryan Howard is hitting .100 after three games, so Darin Ruf gets the start at first base against the left-hander tonight. Grady Sizemore is back in the lineup as well, and Cameron Rupp and Andres Blanco are making their first starts of the season. It is also the third straight start for Jeff Francoeur.

The Nationals are still trying to fill some holes with a group of players on the DL. Jayson WerthDenard Span and Anthony Rendon, usually fixtures to the lineup, are all out with injury. Yunel Escobar plays third instead of his usual short and Michael Taylor will be leading off and playing centerfield.

Game Notes

  • Phillies vs. Gonzalez
    • Grady Sizemore: 7-for-14 (.500), 2 2B, 1 3B, 3 RBI, 3 K
    • Ben Revere: 8-for-19 (.421), 1 3B, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K
    • Darin Ruf: 6-for-16 (.375), 1 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 3 BB, 3 K
  • Nationals vs. Williams
    • Yunel Escobar: 1-for-7 (.143), 1 K
    • Dan Uggla: 2-for-4 (.500), 1 HR, 4 RBI
    • Bryce Harper: 1-fo-3 (.333), 2 K
  • The Phillies posted a 10-9 record against the Nationals during the 2014 season. They are also 17-9 in their last 26 home games against Washington.

Gametime: 7:05 p.m.
Weather: 65 degrees, cloudy, 5% PoP
Location: Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
TV: CSN
Radio: 1210 WPHT, 94 WIP, SBP 1480 (Spanish)

Kevin Durso is a contributing writer and editorial assistant for Philliedelphia. Follow him on Twitter @Kevin_Durso.