Series Preview: Phillies look to stay hot as they host Washington Nationals in 4-game series
The Philadelphia Phillies, fresh off taking 2 of 3 from the Kansas City Royals over the weekend, will open up a four game series tonight at Citizens Bank Park against the Washington Nationals.
Washington will travel to South Philadelphia winners of four straight games. The Nationals took 2 of 3 from the Milwaukee Brewers last week and over the weekend, they swept fellow NL Wild Card contender in the Cincinnati Reds.
On the season, they still remain at the bottom of the National League East with a miserable 49-63 record, despite winning 6 out of their last 10 games.
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As for the Phillies, they managed to move to 10 games over the .500 mark with an 8-4 win over the Royals. The win moved the Phillies into a tie for the top Wild Card spot in the National League with the San Francisco Giants.
Note: The Giants would technically hold the tiebreaker since they swept the Phillies in San Francisco back in May. Something to keep an eye on, is August 21st, when Giants travel to Citizens Bank Park for a 3-game series that should hold massive playoff implications as we roll through the final stretch of the 2023 MLB season.
Phillies vs Nationals Pitching Matchups
- Trevor Williams (5-6, 4.72 ERA) vs Ranger Suarez (2-5, 4.01 ERA)
- Josiah Gray (7-9, 3.54 ERA) vs Zack Wheeler (8-5, 3.71 ERA)
- MacKenzie Gore (6-8, 4.34 ERA) vs Michael Lorenzen (6-7, 3.48 ERA)
- TBD vs Aaron Nola (9-8, 4.58 ERA)
It should go without saying that a home series against a bad Washington Nationals team means that the Phillies should be eyeing a sweep.
After losing 2 of 3 to the Pirates before taking 2 of 3 from the Marlins and Royals, finding consistency and racking up wins against inferior opponents isn’t exactly something the Phillies have managed to do this season.
Luckily, it looks like The Fightins are trending in the right direction. Kyle Schwarber broke out of an 0-for-19 slump yesterday against the Royals. He went 3-for-4 with 2 RBI and 2 runs scored.
Since June 3rd, The Phillies are 36-19. That date is important because it’s also aligned with when Rob Thomson moved Kyle Schwarber back into the leadoff spot. During that same exact span, the Phillies improved to 14-0 whenever Schwarber hits a home run, which happened yesterday.
Following the game, Schwarber said the following to reporters:
“At the end of the day it’s about winning a baseball game. An 0-for-4 with a win is great… if you go 3-for-4 in a loss, that sucks.”
Hard to argue.
Then of course, you have Trea Turner. After getting chewed out all weekend for saying that Turner didn’t deserve standing ovations and charity donations in order for him to play well, Trea did manage to find success against a miserable Kansas City Royals pitching staff.
Against the Royals, Turner hit .333 with four hits, a home run, and 5 RBIs.
Whether that had anything to do with the charity donations and standing ovations is certainly up for debate, but regardless, it would be a massive uplift for the Phillies if both Turner and Schwarber continue to find their groove against team a bad Nationals team, followed by the Twins this weekend.
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As for the rest of the Phillies, Alec Bohm and Bryson Stott continue to be the backbone for this offense, while Bryce Harper and Nick Castellanos look to continue their recent hot streaks.
Bryson Stott is batting .302 with a .783 OPS on the season. He has 10 home runs, 43 RBI, and 20 stolen bases on the year.
Bryson Stott Game-Tying 3-Run Home Run
Over his last 30 games, Stott slashing .333/.385/.514 with three home runs, 13 RBI, and seven stolen bases.
Bryce Harper, who is quietly batting .300 on the season, is hitting .327 over his last 30 games with 3 home runs and 15 RBI.
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Alec Bohm is batting .327 over his last 30 games with two home runs and 17 RBI.
Nick Castellanos, who had a miserable month of July, has definitely found his groove in August. He’s now batting .280 with seven hits, three home runs, and 7 RBI over 6 games this month.
The Phillies are going tonight. Everything is working in their favor and finally, it seems like everyone is locked in and playing well together.
With home cooking at The Bank, I think it’s very well possible that The Fightins sweep the Nationals and start to distance themselves from the pack in the NL Wild Card race.