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)
(0-0, 0.00 ERA)
(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.
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.
Gametime: 7:05 p.m.Weather: 66 degrees, cloudy, 0% PoPLocation: Nationals Park, Washington, DCTV: CSN, MLB NetworkRadio: 1210 WPHT, 94 WIP, SBP 1480 (Spanish)
Kevin Durso is a contributing writer and editorial assistant for Philliedelphia. Follow him on Twitter @Kevin_Durso.