Phillies' defense, bullpen fail Nola in loss
Time Change: FOX Sports Flexes Phillies' 9th-to-Last Game Opposite Braves

Flailing Phillies Turn to Arrieta in Series Finale Against Nationals

By Matt Rappa, Sports Talk Philly editor

Turning to RHP Jake Arrieta with hopes of salvaging the series finale, the Philadelphia Phillies (70-62) will take on 11-year veteran southpaw Gio Gonzalez and the Washington Nationals (67-66) for the fourth-to-last time of the season Wednesday evening at Citizens Bank Park.

Read: Jose Bautista to Make Phillies Starting Debut Against Nationals

Another heartbreaking loss occurred Tuesday evening against the Nationals. Right-hander Aaron Nola was in-line to defeat Max Scherzer for the second straight start — and win his 16th game — but fielding misplays and the bullpen's two-run, ninth-inning home run surrendered to Anthony Rendon quickly erased such aspirations. Wilson Ramos laced a RBI double to pull the club within one in the bottom half, but pinch runner Vince Velasquez's baserunning blunder — trying to advance on a fly out — resulted in the final out of the contest. The Phillies had won all of Nola's previous 12 home starts prior this season.

The Phillies have been swept just twice under Gabe Kapler in 2018, although they have fallen in four straight series and are winless in each of their last seven series since August 6-8 against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Phillies have lost eight of their last 10 games and four straight home games, both dating back to Saturday, August 18. The club has 30 games remaining this season, 23 against National League East opponents and 16 at home. Seven of the Phillies' final 11 games will be against the Atlanta Braves, who currently lead the division by 4 1/2 games.

Starting Pitching Matchup:

Washington Nationals (67-66) Philadelphia Phillies (70-62)
LHP Gio Gonzalez RHP Jake Arrieta
(7-11, 4.35 ERA) (9-9, 3.37 ERA)

LHP Gio Gonzalez, Age: 32

  • 2018 vs. PHI: 1-0, 2.70 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 10 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 HR, 6 BB, 9 SO, 1.100 WHIP
  • Career vs. PHI: 11-7, 2.69 ERA, 25 G, 25 GS, 153 2/3 IP, 120 H, 53 R, 46 ER, 12 HR, 55 BB, 143 SO, 1.139 WHIP
  • Career at Citizens Bank Park: 6-4, 2.78 ERA, 14 G, 14 GS, 87 1/3 IP, 61 H, 31 R, 27 ER, 8 HR, 36 BB, 94 SO, 1.111 WHIP

Over his last 13 outings since June 15, Gonzalez is 1-9 with a 6.27 ERA, .313/.390/.494 opposing slash, and a 45-35 strikeout-to-walk ratio spanning 66 innings. The Nationals have been outscored 67-25 during this stretch, and have fallen in 11 of the 13 starts.


RHP Jake Arrieta, Age: 32

  • 2018 vs. WSN: 0-0, 2.45 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 11 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 ER, HR, 4 BB, 4 SO, 0.909 WHIP
  • Career vs. WSN: 1-2, 4.89 ERA, 11 G, 11 GS, 57 IP, 58 H, 35 R, 31 ER, 4 HR, 29 BB, 52 SO, 1.526 WHIP
  • Career at Citizens Bank Park: 6-3, 2.47 ERA, 14 G, 14 GS, 83 2/3 IP, 64 H, 33 R, 23 ER, 8 HR, 25 BB, 75 SO, 1.064 WHIP

The Phillies have lost each of Arrieta's four starts in August, after winning all six of his outings in July. This season, the right-hander is 4-3 with a 2.88 ERA and 1.136 WHIP at Citizens Bank Park, as opposed to going 5-6 with a 3.81 ERA and 1.295 WHIP on the road.

Starting Lineups:

Washington Nationals (67-66) Philadelphia Phillies (70-62)
  Position Player Bats   Position Player Bats
1 RF Adam Eaton L 1 CF Roman Quinn S
2 SS Trea Turner R 2 LF Rhys Hoskins R
3 3B Anthony Rendon R 3 2B Cesar Hernandez S
4 LF Juan Soto L 4 C Wilson Ramos R
5 1B Ryan Zimmerman R 5 1B Carlos Santana S
6 C Matt Wieters S 6 RF Jose Bautista R
7 2B Wilmer Difo S 7 3B Maikel Franco R
8 CF Michael A. Taylor R 8 SS Scott Kingery R
9 P Gio Gonzalez R 9 P Jake Arrieta R

Broadcast Information:

  • First pitch: 7:05 p.m.
  • Radio: SportsRadio 94 WIP

Game Notes:


  • Active Phillies hit streaks of five or more games
    • Jorge Alfaro (7 games): 26 AB, 2 R, 8 H, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 0 BB, 7 SO, .308/.333/.538
    • Roman Quinn (6): 20 AB, 4 R, 10 H, HR, 5 RBI, BB, 4 SO, .500/.524/.800
    • Wilson Ramos (5): 17 AB, R, 8 H, HR, 5 RBI, 0 BB, 3 SO, .471/.444/.824
    • Odubel Herrera (5): 18 AB, 3 R, 6 H, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 2 SO, .333/.400/.722
  • Newly-acquired Phillies outfielder Jose Bautista is just 1-9 with two walks and two strikeouts spanning 12 career plate appearances against Gonzalez. Bautista struck out in a pinch-hit appearance while making his Phillies debut on Tuesday. The 15-year-veteran is just the third player ever to play for three teams within the same division in the same season, joining Bob Reynolds (1975) and Kelly Johnson (2014), The Athletic's Meghan Montemurro notes (click to expand).


What's Next:

Thursday, August 30: Off-day

Friday, August 31, 2018: vs. Chicago Cubs, 7:05 p.m.

  • Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pa.
  • LHP Jose Quintana (11-9, 4.33 ERA) vs. RHP Nick Pivetta (7-10, 4.76 ERA)
  • TV: NBCSP, MLBN; Radio: SportsRadio 94 WIP


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