After taking two of three from the St. Louis Cardinals, the Philadelphia Phillies will travel to Washington D.C. to take on the Nationals this weekend. Though this is just the second time that the Phillies and Nationals have squared off this season – the Phillies lost two of three in Washington in early May – the two sides are going to get very familiar with each other over the next week. After a three-game set in Washington this weekend, the Phillies will welcome the Nationals to Citizens Bank Park four four games next weekend.
First, here’s a look at what will take place in the nation’s capital this weekend.
What to expect
Division games are always important, though it’s fair to wonder if this isn’t one of the most important series that these two franchises have ever played against each other. The Phillies and Nationals are now tied for second place in the National League East and are tied for the second and final National League Wild Card spot. Although there is still a good portion of the season left, a series win this weekend could give the Phillies momentum to land a playoff spot this season.
Friday June 22nd 7:05pm: Zach Eflin (4-2, 3.43 ERA) vs. Tanner Roark (3-7, 3.87 ERA)
Zach Eflin is looking to stay hot after getting a win in his last three starts. Over those starts, he has only given up four earned runs over 18.2 innings pitched. He’ll be going up against Nationals’ Tanner Roark, who is in the midst of a slump. In his last seven games, Roark is 1-4 with an ERA of 4.62. In his last outing, he was chased out after only four innings, giving up four earned runs on eight hits.
Saturday, June 23rd 4:05pm: Aaron Nola (8-2, 2.55 ERA) vs. Erick Fedde (0-2, 5.63)
If the Phillies are a team that’s going to remain in contention for the entirety of the 2018 season, this needs to be a relatively easy win. Nola will be looking to get back into the All-Star form that he has shown all season after his shaky start on Sunday in Milwaukee. Nola will be facing off against Fedde, who so far this season has not been able to break five innings.
Sunday, June 24th 8:05pm: Nick Pivetta (4-6, 4.08 ERA) vs. Jefry Rodriguez (0-0, 4.66 ERA)
To close out the series, the Phillies will have Nick Pivetta on the mound going up against Jefry Rodriguez on national TV. Pivetta will get the ball after a career outing on Monday where he posted a career-high in strikeouts with 13. He went 7.1 innings on Monday against the Cardinals and gave up just four hits, but ended the game with a no-decision.The Nationals will counter with Jefry Rodriguez on the mound. He just made his first career start on Tuesday, where he went five innings and gave up five runs on four hits.