Nola takes mound for potential final start

There haven't been many reasons to get excited over Phillies (58-96) baseball this season and with just one week to go in the season, that really hasn't changed.

Saturday, however, presents a unique opportunity. The Phillies have a chance to end the Nationals (78-75) playoff hopes for good with a win on Saturday. And they have their new ace of sorts on the mound for what could be his final start of 2015.

Aaron Nola takes the mound looking for another strong start as the Phillies face the Nationals. First pitch is at 4:05 p.m.

Starting Pitching Matchup

Washington Nationals (78-75)

Philadelphia Phillies (58-96)

RHP

Stephen Strasburg

(10-7, 3.81 ERA)

RHP

Aaron Nola

(6-2, 3.84 ERA)

The Phillies rookie nearly picked up his third loss of the season in his last start despite another brilliant outing. Nola threw seven innings allowing one run on five hits while walking three and striking out four against the Braves on Sunday. Nola took a no-decision after the Phillies tied the game in the ninth inning before losing in the bottom of the ninth.

Stephen Strasburg has struggled this season, but has looked like his old self in his last two starts. After downing the Phillies with eight shutout innings, allowing one hit, one walk and striking out 14, Strasburg followed it with seven solid innings in Miami, allowing one run on six hits with one walk and 10 strikeouts. In his last seven starts, he is 4-2 with a 2.38 ERA and 60 strikeouts.

Starting Lineups

Washington Nationals (78-75)

Philadelphia Phillies (58-96)

 

Position/Bats

Player

 

Position/Bats

Player

1

 2B/R

Anthony Rendon

1

SS/S

Freddy Galvis

2

 3B/R

Yunel Escobar

2

CF/R

Aaron Altherr

3

 CF/L

Bryce Harper

3

3B/L

Cody Asche

4

 RF/R

Jayson Werth

4

1B/R

Darin Ruf

5

 1B/L

Clint Robinson

5

2B/S

Andres Blanco

6

 SS/R

Ian Desmond

6

RF/L

Brian Bogusevic

7

 LF/L

Matt den Dekker

7

C/R

Cameron Rupp

8

 C/R

Wilson Ramos

8

LF/S

Darnell Sweeney

9

 P/R

Stephen Strasburg

9

P/R

Aaron Nola

Andres Blanco, Brian Bogusevic and Darnell Sweeney all enter the lineup after getting Friday night off.

Harper and Werth highlight the heart of the order. Matt den Dekker and also get the start. The Nationals have adjusted the outfield, giving Michael Taylor the day off after his misplay on a line drive led to an inside-the-park grand slam for Aaron Altherr.

Game Notes

  • Phillies vs. Strasburg
    • Cody Asche: .263 (5-for-19), 2B, 7 SO
    • Jeff Francoeur: .250 (2-for-8), HR, 2 RBI, SO
    • Odubel Herrera: .222 (2-for-9), 2 2B, 5 SO
  • Nationals vs. Nola
    • Bryce Harper: .667 (2-for-3), HR, RBI
    • Jayson Werth: .333 (1-for-3), HR, 4 RBI
    • Yunel Escobar: .667 (2-for-3)
  • Since the start of the 2012 season, the Phillies are 13-23 at Nationals Park.
  • In seven games on their current road trip, Phillies starting pitchers have a 1.76 ERA over 46 innings pitched. Despite that, the Phillies are 2-5 on the road trip.
  • With his inside-the-park grand slam, solo home run and double, Aaron Altherr became the third Phillies rookie this season to have three extra-base hits in the same game, joining Maikel Franco and Odubel Herrera.

Gametime: 4:05 p.m.
Weather: 71 degrees, partly cloudy, 0% PoP
Location: Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.
TV: CSN
Radio: 1210 WPHT, 94 WIP, SBP 1480 (Spanish)

Kevin Durso is an editorial assistant for Philliedelphia. Follow him on Twitter @Kevin_Durso.