Slumping Phillies open another series with Nationals

A struggling offense has been the primary reason for the Phillies (3-6) current four-game losing streak. There aren't many bright spots in the lineup and it has shown as the Mets dominated a three-game series sweep earlier this week.

The Phillies next series comes in Washington as they meet the Nationals (3-6) for the second time this season, opening a four-game series on Thursday night at Nationals Park. The Phillies claimed last weekend's three-game series. First pitch of the series opener is at 7:05 p.m.


Starting Pitching Matchup

Washington Nationals (3-6)

Philadelphia Phillies (3-6)

RHP

Doug Fister

(0-0, 0.00 ERA)

LHP

Cole Hamels

(0-1, 3.75 ERA)

Cole Hamels recovered from his struggles on Opening Day in his last start last Saturday against the Nationals. He allowed one run on two hits in seven innings, walking two and striking out five and took a no-decision in the Phillies 3-2 win in 10 innings. In 33 career starts against the Nationals, Hamels is 15-8 with a 2.59 ERA. Hamels is 4-4 with a 2.42 ERA in 10 starts at Nationals Park.

Doug Fister's only start of the season came on Saturday against the Phillies, where he allowed six hits and one walk over 6 1/3 shutout innings, striking out one as well. He took the no-decision as the Phillies rallied for the extra-inning win. This is Fister's sixth career start against the Phillies. He is 2-2 with a 2.12 ERA in five career starts.

Starting Lineups

Washington Nationals (3-6)

Philadelphia Phillies (3-6)

 

Position/Bats

Player

 

Position/Bats

Player

1

 3B/R

Yunel Escobar

1

CF/L

Odubel Herrera

2

 SS/R

Ian Desmond

2

SS/S

Freddy Galvis

3

 LF/R

Jayson Werth

3

2B/L

Chase Utley

4

 RF/L

Bryce Harper

4

RF/R

Jeff Francoeur

5

 1B/R

Ryan Zimmerman

5

3B/L

 Cody Asche

6

 C/R

Wilson Ramos

6

C/R

Carlos Ruiz

7

 2B/S

Danny Espinosa

7

1B/L

Ryan Howard

8

 CF/R

Michael Taylor

8

LF/R

Darin Ruf

9

 P/L

Doug Fister

9

P/L

Cole Hamels

Ryne Sandberg has rolled out his craziest lineup yet. Ryan Howard goes from his traditional clean-up spot to seventh in the order. It's the first time he's hit seventh since April 21, 2006. Darin Ruf bats eighth. The rest of the Phillies lineup looks the same, as Odubel Herrera gets another chance to bat lead-off. The hot-hitting Cody Asche moves up to the fifth spot in the order.

One piece of the Nationals puzzle is back in place. Jayson Werth returned from the DL this week and hits third for Washington. The rest of the Nats lineup remains relatively similar to last weekend. Yunel Escobar is at third again and Michael Taylor remains in centerfield.

Game Notes

  • Phillies vs. Fister
    • Chase Utley: 3-for-14 (.214), 1 RBI, 4 K
    • Jeff Francoeur: 3-for-13 (.231), 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 3 K
    • Ryan Howard: 2-for-12 (.167), 1 2B, 1 K
  • Nationals vs. Hamels
    • Ryan Zimmerman: 20-for-78 (.256), 3 2B, 3 HR, 6 RBI, 7 BB, 17 K
    • Ian Desmond: 11-for-53 (.208), 5 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 11 K
    • Bryce Harper: 8-for-27 (.296), 1 2B, 1 RBI, 3 BB, 4 K
  • The Phillies have a .159 batting average with runners in scoring position, ranking 29th in baseball. During their three-game series with the Mets, the Phillies were 3-for-27 with runners in scoring position.
  • The Phillies have won seven of their last nine games against the Nationals, outscoring Washington, 39-28, in those games.
  • So far this season, the Phillies have allowed the first run of the game in six of their nine games and have trailed after six innings in eight of nine games.

Gametime: 7:05 p.m.
Weather: 66 degrees, cloudy, 0% PoP
Location: Nationals Park, Washington, DC
TV: CSN, MLB Network
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.