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)
(10-7, 3.81 ERA)
(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.
Matt den Dekker
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.
Gametime: 4:05 p.m.Weather: 71 degrees, partly cloudy, 0% PoPLocation: Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.TV: CSNRadio: 1210 WPHT, 94 WIP, SBP 1480 (Spanish)
Kevin Durso is an editorial assistant for Philliedelphia. Follow him on Twitter @Kevin_Durso.