It’s on the mind of the Phillies.
Don’t get swept.
The message is plain and simple, but it carries a much greater meaning than just not getting swept.
The Phillies are on the verge of getting swept by the Washington Nationals on national TV tonight (ESPN, 8 PM) and sit 6.5 games out of first place while resting in the bottom of the NL East standings.
But more importantly, they are trying to prevent a role reversal. For five years it’s been Philadelphia at the top of the standings while the Nationals sat at the bottom. With a five-year NL East title run on the line, the Phillies don’t want that role reversal to come into effect so soon.
Washington is overflowing at the brim with young talent, including future super stars Stephen Strasberg and Bryce Harper. For the Phillies, their super stars are either injured or can’t control what the offense does.
Cole Hamels will hope to stop the Nationals offense, which erupted for three home runs yesterday off Vance Worley (two) and Joe Savery. Seven of their 15 hits yesterday were extra base hits.
Hamels dominates the Nationals in his career. In 20 starts Hamels is 10-4 with a 2.71 ERA. On the season, he’s been just as good with a 3-1 record and 2.78 ERA through five starts.
Washington will be throwing another young strong arm in Jordan Zimmerman. Though Zimmerman is pitching well this year (1-2, 1.89), he’s struggled in career starts with a 6.60 ERA.
Tonight’s Line up