Sep 26, 2012, 7:42 PM EDT
Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
John Lannan tries to pitch the Nationals to a rare win at Citizens Bank Park.
PHILADELPHIA — What is it about the Philadelphia Phillies that brings out the worst in the Nationals? Well, there's the obvious answer: The Phillies have been a really good team for the better part of the last six years. But there also seems to be something about this opponent, and especially this ballpark, that continues to haunt the Nationals.
Yes, they posted a winning record at Citizens Bank Park last season, thanks entirely to a four-game September sweep after Philadelphia had already clinched the NL East. Over the last six seasons combined, though, the Nats are 16-33 here, 36-67 overall against the Phillies. They've lost four straight here entering tonight's game.
Which puts the pressure squarely on John Lannan's shoulders. The problem: Lannan is 1-5 with a 7.06 ERA in seven career starts in this ballpark, the lone victory coming last year. He'll need to overcome that demon if he's going to help his team get back on track tonight.
Lannan won't have one regular behind him in the field. Danny Espinosa is not in the Nationals lineup, replaced by Steve Lombardozzi. We'll have to find out whether this is related to his lingering shoulder injury or something else.
Updates to come…
WASHINGTON NATIONALS at PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES
Where: Citizens Bank Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv, ESPN (outside D.C. market)
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 188
Weather: Chance of storms, 74 degrees, Wind 9 mph out to RF
RF Jayson Werth
CF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche
COUNTDOWN TO OPENING DAY
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