Series Preview: at Washington Nationals

PHI: 7-2; WSH: 4-5

When: April 12-14
Where: Nationals Park (Washington D.C.)

Probable Pitchers
Tuesday: Joe Blanton (0-0, 14.54) vs. Livan Hernandez (0-1, 4.76)

Wednesday: Roy Halladay (1-0, 0.69) vs. John Lannan (1-0, 3.60)
Thursday: Cliff Lee (1-1, 7.84) vs. Jordan Zimmerman (1-1, 3.18)

Broadcast Info
Tuesday, 7:05, CSN

Wednesday, 7:05, TCN
Thursday, 7:05, CSN
All Games on 1210 AM

Player to Watch – RF Jayson Werth: It is the series that all Phillies fans have been waiting for. A chance to face off against former Phillie Jayson Werth.

Werth hasn’t been very impressive through his first nine games with the Nationals. The $126 million man is batting .200 with one home run and four runs scored. It would be a safe bet to safe that Werth would like to prove the Phillies wrong for letting him walk in free agency.

With Ryan Zimmerman in the lineup for the foreseeable future, Werth will play an even bigger part for the Nationals. With Adam Dunn off to the White Sox and no Zimmerman, Adam LaRoche is possibly the next offensive option. It’s safe to say that Werth will be expected to live up to his contract in this series.

Overview: The Nationals aren’t a threat to the Phillies’ chances for a fifth straight division crown. The only threat they pose is to the New York Mets staying out of the NL East cellar.

The pitching matchups certainly favor the Phillies. The Nationals’ best pitcher is probably John Lannan which means the Nationals have no aces. The Phillies will have two of theirs going in the series with Halladay and Lee.

The Phillies’ offense is producing at a very high level so far this season. The big surprise has been the success of Ben Francisco at the plate. Francisco is hitting .306 with two home runs and seven RBIs so far in 2011.

Placido Polanco leads the team in hitting with a .342 average and eight RBIs. He knocked in all eight of his runs last week against the Mets. He was clearly their worst nightmare.

With Werth being the only star power that the Nationals have at the moment, this series could be a potential sweep for the Phillies. They will look to show Werth what he will be missing while dwelling near the bottom of the NL East for the next seven seasons.

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