More Good News for the Sixers
Nationals hit four homers, send Phillies to fifth straight defeat

Looking to snap four-game skid, Phillies turn to Nola

By: Brandon Apter, contributor

Philadelphia, PA - After a surprising start to the season that saw them climb to seven games over .500 at one point, it seems the Phillies are falling back to Earth. After last night's 4-3 loss to the Nationals, it marked the teams' fourth straight defeat and their sixth loss in the last seven games. 

The big story in Monday night's game was the decision to pull Jeremy Hellickson after throwing just 79 pitches through seven innings of one-run ball. He was pinch-hit for in the bottom of the seventh with no runners on and a 2-1 lead. The normally reliable Hector Neris allowed three runs to score in the eighth, spoiling Hellickson's strong start.

Tonight, the Phillies look to Aaron Nola in hopes of snapping their four-game skid. Washington will send Joe Ross to the mound.

Starting Pitching Matchup:

Washington Nationals (31-21) Philadelphia Phillies (26-25)
RHP Joe Ross RHP Aaron Nola
(4-4, 2.52 ERA) (4-3, 2.86 ERA)

 With both Vince Velasquez and Jerad Eickhoff going through struggles, Aaron Nola has remained a steady, reliable young starter for the Phillies this season. His secondary pitches get better through each start and he has worked six or more innings in nine of his 10 starts. Nola has already faced the Nationals twice this year, garnering mixed results. In his first outing against them on April 16, he gave up seven runs in five innings, his worst start of the season. He followed that up with seven scoreless innings, scattering just two hits against them on April 28. Nola is 0-1 with a 5.32 ERA in four starts against Washington in his career. His most recent start came against the Tigers. In six innings, he gave up four runs (two earned), while walking one and striking out six.

Joe Ross will get his second career start against the Phillies tonight after holding them scoreless over 7.2 innings back on April 15, a 9-1 win for the Nationals. The 23-year-old right-hander earned his first win since April 30 his last time out, allowing one run over seven innings against the Cardinals. He had lost four straight decisions prior to that, surrendering 12 earned runs in 24 innings. 

Starting Lineups:

Washington Nationals (31-21) Philadelphia Phillies (26-25)
  Position Player Bats   Position Player Bats
1 CF  Ben Revere 1 CF Odubel Herrera 
2 RF  Jayson Werth  2 SS Freddy Galvis 
3 2B  Daniel Murphy  3 3B Maikel Franco 
4 1B  Ryan Zimmerman  4 C Cameron Rupp 
5 LF  Clint Robinson  5 1B Ryan Howard 
6 3B  Anthony Rendon  6 LF Tyler Goeddel 
7 Wilson Ramos  7 RF  David Lough 
8 SS  Danny Espinosa  8 2B  Cesar Hernandez 
9 Joe Ross  9 Aaron Nola 

Broadcast Information:

  • First pitch: 7:10 p.m.      
  • TV: CSN
  • Radio: 94 WIP

Game Notes:

  • Daniel Murphy is hitting .413 in the month of May and his .395 average in 2016 leads Major League Baseball. He went 3-for-4 with three RBI's on Monday night.
  • The Phillies have faced 51 starting pitchers this season and have scored three runs or less against 46 of them.
  • Prior to walking three batters last night, Hector Neris had walked three batters the entire month of May.
  • A day after talking about trimming Ryan Howard's playing time, Pete Mackanin put the veteran in the lineup yesterday. He went 1-for-4 with an RBI-double and two strikeouts. 
  • Aaron Nola is 4-1 with a 1.72 ERA in seven starts since allowing seven runs against the Nationals back on April 16.
  • Bryce Harper is day-to-day after leaving Monday's game with a right knee injury. He is 6-for-10 in his career against Nola with two homers. 
  • A loss for the Phillies tonight would drop them to .500 for the first time since they were 10-10.

What's Next:

  • Wednesday, June 1st, 2016: vs. Washington, 7:05 p.m.
    • Citizens Bank Park
    • LHP Adam Morgan (1-3, 6.67 ERA) vs. RHP Max Scherzer (5-4, 4.05 ERA)
    • TV: CSN, MLB.TV; Radio: 94 WIP  


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