Aug 3, 2014, 10:17 AM EDT
The Nationals enter Sunday looking to split their four-game series with Philadelphia, thanks to an 11-0 beatdown of the Phillies on Saturday night. Runs, however, could be a little harder to come by on this particular day.
It’s a marquee pitching matchup at Nationals Park with Stephen Strasburg (7-9, 3.55) going up against Cole Hamels (6-5, 2.55). The two San Diego-natives have each been brilliant in this NL East series over the years.
In nine starts against the Phillies, Strasburg is 3-1 with a 2.41 ERA and 67 strikeouts in 56 innings. Hamels has faced the Nationals 29 times before and is 15-6 with a 2.63 ERA. He has 195 strikeouts in 191 2/3 innings with a 1.075 WHIP.
As you will see below in the lineup, both Bryce Harper and Wilson Ramos are getting the day off. Ramos is getting some rest after catching a night game and the Harper move is likely to get Scott Hairston in there.
Hairston has faced Hamels more than he has any other MLB pitcher. He holds a .390 average with five home runs, nine RBI and five doubles in 44 career plate appearances.
Updates to come…
PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 1:35 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, XM 186, MLB.com
Weather: Mostly cloudy, 79 degrees, Wind 3 mph in from LF
CF Denard Span
3B Anthony Rendon
RF Jayson Werth
1B Adam LaRoche
SS Ian Desmond
LF Scott Hairston
2B Asdrubal Cabrera
C Jose Lobaton
RHP Stephen Strasburg
CF Ben Revere
SS Jimmy Rollins
2B Chase Utley
1B Ryan Howard
RF Marlon Byrd
LF Grady Sizemore
C Wil Nieves
3B Cody Asche
LHP Cole Hamels
HP Eric Cooper
1B Tom Hallion (cc)
2B (cc)Tripp Gibson
3B Chris Guccione
1:52 p.m. — The first inning was a quick one as both Strasburg and Hamels pitched perfect frames. Strasburg had two strikeouts, getting Rollins to go down swinging and Utley looking at a curveball for the third out. Werth struck out looking for Hamels’ third out after Span and Rendon flew out to left field. Strasburg threw 16 pitches, while Hamels only needed 11.
2:06 p.m. — Another inning gone in a flash. Strasburg went 1-2-3 with two more strikeouts to give him four through two innings. Hamels then notched two strikeouts in a perfect frame. Strasburg is at 29 pitches, Hamels has thrown 21.
2:25 p.m. — We are scoreless no more, as the Nationals got their first run of the game off Hamels in the bottom of the third. Lobaton reached on an error by Asche at third and then moved to second on a bunt by Strasburg. Span then singled to right field to score Lobaton to make it a 1-0 game. That’s the 29th straight game Span has reached base, the longest streak in the majors this season.
2:45 p.m. — We’re still looking at a 1-0 score after four innings. The Phillies saw Rollins single and reach second on a stolen base, but that was it. The Nats then went down in order. Strasburg has 56 pitches through four, Hamels has 46.
3:06 p.m. — Still a 1-0 game after five. The Phillies made it interesting with two outs in the top of the inning after Asche doubled. He was then nearly picked off by Lobaton at second. Williams challenged the ‘safe’ call, and it was upheld despite the replay showing what looked like a tag by Desmond before Asche got back to the bag. In the end it didn’t matter and the Nats couldn’t capitalize on a leadoff single by Hairston in the bottom half of the inning. Strasburg is at 69 pitches, Hamels has tossed 60.
3:25 p.m. — No runs once again in the sixth inning, though the Nats did see Span go all the way to third. He reached on an infield single and then stole his 22nd and 23rd bases of the year. His career-high was 26 back in 2010, so he’s well on pace to pass that. Strasburg will head back out having only thrown 83 pitches. Hamels is at 73.
3:48 p.m. — A 1-0 game it remains. Strasburg allowed a walk to Byrd, who also stole second. That was it, though, and Strasburg is now out of the game after throwing 99 pitches. Tyler Clippard will take over with Bryce Harper relieving Hairston in left field. Hamels allowed a single, but nothing more. He is at 86 pitches.
4:20 p.m. — The Phillies pinch-hit for Hamels in the eighth and, well, it didn’t work out. The Nats were able to get three more runs off relievers Ken Giles and Jake Diekman to make this a 4-0 game. Rendon and Werth each had RBI doubles before Werth scored the third run on a wild pitch by Diekman. Rafael Soriano will now come in looking to put a stamp on this one.
4:28 p.m. — Nats win 4-0, get their 60th victory of the season. Here’s the instant analysis: http://natsinsider.com/2014/08/03/instant-analysis-nats-4-phillies-0/
COUNTDOWN TO OPENING DAY
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