Battle for the top: Nationals @ Phillies

Yes it’s true. With a weekend sweep our second place Phillies would tie the Nationals for the division lead. Is it likely? Absolutely not. Washington’s MLB leading 2.22 ERA combined with our team’s meager offensive stats means runs will probably be hard to come by for the home team. Luckily, there are at least a couple reasons to be optimistic at our chances to pull out a series win. Let’s break them down.

The best rotation in the league (so far)

Philadelphia’s starting pitchers lead the league in ERA (2.14), strikeouts (75), and BAA (.173). Yeah, yeah, sample size, but it sure has been fun to watch.

Showing some power

After finishing 28th in the league in home runs in 2015, the Phillies have at least been adequate so far this year. Ryan Howard has at least managed to not be a total negative, leading the team in HR (3) and RBI (6) to combat his now typical barely over the Mendoza Line batting average. Third-base phenom Maikel Franco is right behind him in the production categories, and leads the team with a .981 OPS.

Jeanmar Gomez and the bullpen getting it together?

This one’s definitely still a question mark. It had to get better after almost the worst start imaginable, but they’re still 28th in the league with a 6.17 ERA. Gomez has emerged as a major bright spot, tied for second in the league in saves (behind only some guy on Washington named Papelbon) to go with his 1.80 ERA. No one was that upset to see Daniel Stumpf and his 40.50 ERA get suspended for 80 games due to PED violations either

Momentum

Props to this team for showing some serious life, winning five out of six after the 0-4 start. This season could have been down the toilet before it even really got started, but now we’ll still get some truly exciting baseball games this weekend at least. Even if they lose the series, it bodes well for the future to see these young guys fighting hard.

 

Here are your pitching matchups for the series… lets go Phils! And let’s hope they won’t be our only franchise notching a win over Washington this weekend…

Friday, 7:05 p.m. Joe Ross (1-0, 1.29) @ Jeremy Hellickson (1-0, 1.54)

Saturday, 7:05 p.m. Max Scherzer (1-0, 4.15) @ Aaron Nola (0-1, 3.21)

Sunday, 1:35 p.m. Gio Gonzalez (0-0, 0.00) @ Charlie Morton (1-1, 5.23)

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