The Philadelphia Phillies will return from the All-Star break with a three home series against the Washington Nationals starting Friday night from Citizens Bank Park. The Nationals will give the starting call to 30-year-old right-hander Stephen Strasburg, and 26-year-old right-hander Nick Pivetta will take the mound for the Phillies. The Nationals lead the season series 7-4.
Strasburg Targets Fourth Straight Win
Stephen Strasburg will make his 19th start of the season, targeting his fourth consecutive victory. Strasburg was brilliant in his previous start, tossing 7.1 shutout innings against the Marlins in a 3-1 victory to lift his record to 10-4. The hard-throwing right-hander had a rough month of June, although overall he is having another effective season, filing a 3.64 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP in 116.1 innings of work. Strasburg allowed six runs in four innings in his only start against the Phillies this season, and he features a 12-2 record and a stifling 2.72 ERA in 25 career starts against Philly. Jay Bruce is 9 for 25 against Strasburg, while Maike Franco is 9 for 27, and Rhys Hoskins is 1 for 13.
Anthony Rendon is feasting on the Phillies pitching this season, logging a .387 average with three homers and nine RBI’s in 31 at-bats. The 29-year-old third baseman is one of the best hitters in the game, and he enters this one hitting .304 with 20 jacks and 62 RBI’s. Rendon has driven in four runs in his last four games.
The Nationals are currently scoring an average of 4.94 runs on the season, ranking them 14th in the Majors. The Washington pitching staff is carrying a strong 4.38 team ERA, pegging them 14th overall. The Nationals stand at 21-22 on the road this season.
Pivetta Attempts to Put First Half Woes Behind Him
Nick Pivetta will get the nod for the 12th time of the year, aiming for his first win since June 8th. Pivetta was hit hard in his previous start, conceding six runs (five earned) in 5.2 innings against the Braves, leading to the defeat to drop his record to 4-3. The third-year right-hander had a rough first half, and he especially struggled in his last four starts. His ERA has plummeted to 5.84 to go with a 1.48 WHIP in 61.2 innings pitched on the season. The Nationals have plated 13 runs in nine innings against Pivetta this season, and the right-hander now holds a 1-6 record and an abysmal 10.80 ERA in 31.2 career innings against the division foes. Adam Eaton is 3 for 8 against Pivetta, while Trea Turner is 4 for 14, and Antony Rendon is 10 for 18.
Phillies’ slugger Rhys Hoskins is heating up after an inconsistent June, collecting seven RBI’s in his last eight games overall. The 26-year-old 1st baseman is having an outstanding season, hitting .263 with 20 homers and 59 RBI’s, and he features a .401 on base percentage. Hoskins is 8 for 40 with three home runs and nine RBI’s against the Nationals pitching this season.
The Phillies are averaging 4.91 runs on the year, ranking them 15th in the big leagues. The Philadelphia pitching staff holds 4.64 team ERA, pegging them 19th overall. The Phillies are 27-17 on their home field this season.
The Washington Nationals are:
- 4-0 in Strasburg’s last 4 road starts against the Phillies.
- 18-4 in Strasburg’s last 22 starts against the Phillies overall.
- 4-1 in their last 5 games against the Phillies.
The Philadelphia Phillies are:
- 3-9 in Pivetta’s last 12 starts against the NL East.
- 1-5 in their last 6 home games against a team with a winning record.
- 0-7 in their last 7 games when their opponent allows two or fewer runs in their previous game.