A big week for the Phillies starts with two games against the Washington Nationals
After a day off Monday, the Philadelphia Phillies are back home for a two game series against the Washington Nationals. The city of Philadelphia desperately needs a win after the Sixers collapsed in front of our eyes over the weekend. Zack Wheeler has an opportunity to instill hope yet again by getting the Phillies back to the .500 mark tonight.
The Phillies have been above .500 just once over the last 26 games. The next two games against the Nationals are extremely important before the Phillies head to Citi Field for a four game series against the NL East leading New York Mets.
The Nationals haven’t named a starter for Tuesday but will send Erick Fedde to the mound on Wednesday. Fedde is 4-4 with a 3.33 ERA on the year. As for the Phillies, Wheeler will go tonight and Vincent Velasquez will pitch tomorrow. Wheeler is 5-3 with a 2.5 ERA on the year and has been pitching like an ace while Aaron Nola continues to struggle with consistency.
Wheeler should be able to continue his success tonight against the Nationals, who enter the two game series 33-36, averaging 3.2 runs per game over their last 11 games. The Nationals have exclusively relied on Kyle Schwarber to provide some pop at the plate. Schwarber homered a combined five times Saturday and Saturday.
As for the Phillies, with the exception of Sunday’s loss to the Giants in San Francisco, they have been scoring runs. Rhys Hoskins hit a home run off Clayton Kershaw in the series finale against the Dodgers. The Big Fella hit two home runs and a 391-foot double, that would have been out of the park in the majority of major league ball parks, in Saturday’s win against the Giants. He finished the day with six RBI to lead the Phillies to a 13-6 victory.
Bryce Harper and JT Realmuto have been quiet this season, mainly due to injuries, but still have played well when healthy. Harper enters tonight slashing .346/.370/.423 with three RBI over his last seven games. Realmuto is slashing .308/.357/.508 with a homer and five RBI over his last seven.
No doubt it’s a big week for the Phillies. They can enter the Mets series a game above .500 with a sweep of the Nationals. They could also help restore order to the Philadelphia sports world by getting a few victories. Lord knows we need them.