After letting a weekend series in Atlanta slip away the Phillies head to D.C. to face the Nationals
It was a tough weekend in Atlanta. On Saturday night, the Phillies blew a two-run lead in the ninth inning, a one-run lead in the 11th inning and a three-run lead in the 12th inning, dropping a game they should have won, and snapping what could have been a six-game winning streak. Call it what you want, but losing on Saturday night to the Atlanta Braves was a momentum killer, and it proved to be on Sunday Night Baseball, when the Phillies lost 6-1 to the Braves, and lost the weekend series 2-1.
Aaron Nola struggled from the jump on Sunday and threw a career-low 58 pitches in four innings. The Phillies dropped to a miserable 5-11 on the road this season and have not won a road series since September 2019.
The Phillies are now 18-17. They are in second place behind the New York Mets in the NL East. Sunday’s game wrapped up 17 games in 17 days for the Phillies. Yesterday, they had their first day off since April 22nd and finally had a day to rest their starters.
The first 35 games of the season have been filled with ups and downs for the Phillies. They have spent 24 days in first place. During the 17-in-17 days stretch, they went 9-8 and have battled through extreme highs, with a five game winning streak, and extreme lows with key injuries, clumsy defense, and bullpen blunders.
The top of the Phillies rotation with Nola, Wheeler, and Eflin has been fantastic and Vincent Velasquez has pitched a few solid outings and continues to build his trust as a member of the rotation. On the other hand, the Phillies still don’t have a closer. Hector Neris has proven time and time again that he can’t hold that role for the Phillies.
Bryce Harper hasn’t been himself since taking a 97 mph fastball of his wrist and Rhys Hoskins continues to battle through peaks and valley’s night in and night out. Alec Bohm can’t remain consistent and the Phillies centerfield position has been non-existent through the first 35 games. Scott Kingery is a question mark and the Phillies don’t have a spot for Nick Maton to play every day. Alec Bohm hasn’t been able to be the driving force at the plate that we witnessed last year and the Phillies continue to strike out too much with runners in scoring position.
Still, during the roller coaster ride throughout the first 35 games, the Phillies are a game above .500 and have the opportunity to climb the standings on the road tonight after a day off against the Washington Nationals.
Chase Anderson will be on the mound for the Phillies tonight in nation’s capital. He is 1-3 on the season with a 5.34 ERA. He will be up against Erick Fedde who is 2-3 with a 5.27 ERA this year. The Nationals have struggled all season long and currently sit at the bottom of the NL East with a 13-17 record.
The Phillies need to bounce back after Sunday’s disappointment and a much needed day rest against the Nationals over the next three days and pick up a road series win. The Phillies have won five of their last seven games and have won seven of their last 10 games against the Nationals, a team who has lost five of their last six games heading into tonight.
To say the very least, this series for the Nationals is very important. I’ll see you for the first pitch at 7:05pm.
Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY SPORTS