Apr 14, 2010, 1:57 PM EDT
Following a brief respite yesterday — just wondering, when's the last time a team's home opener was rained out and they actually needed to use that built-in off-day? — the Nationals return to Citizens Bank Park tonight for game two of a three-game set with the Phillies.
This will already be the fifth game between these two clubs in nine days. While it's been obvious at times that the Phillies are a more-talented team, the disparity between the two actually hasn't been great as I might have thought. Throw out last week's Opening Day fiasco in D.C., and things have been fairly competitive otherwise.
The Phillies won last Wednesday's game 8-4 thanks to a big fifth inning off Jason Marquis (hmm, sound familiar?) but the Nats came back to win Thursday's finale 6-5 behind some stellar relief work. And then on Monday, the Nationals had every reason to spoil Philadelphia's home opener, only to squander an early 4-0 lead en route to a 7-4 loss.
Point is, the Nats easily could (and probably shoulder) be 2-2 against the two-time defending NL champs. And they've got a great opportunity to beat them again tonight.
Craig Stammen and Kyle Kendrick are on the mound in a rematch of last Thursday's game, in which the Nationals beat around Kendrick and scored five runs in four innings. The right-hander is beatable.
The Nationals also have an opportunity to take advantage of a depleted Phillies lineup. Jimmy Rollins almost certainly won't play tonight and could wind up on the disabled list with a strained calf (anRead more »
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