Philadelphia Phillies (56-46) at Washington Nationals (44-58)
Roy Oswalt (6-12, 3.43 ERA) vs. Craig Stammen (2-4, 5.50 ERA)
Time: 7:05, Nationals
Weather: Sunny, 85 Degrees
TV: CSN Philly
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The Phillies have put together a nice eight game winning streak, putting themselves ten games over .500. It’s been awhile since the Phillies found themselves at that mark, but they are also closing in on the gap in the division and wild card (2.5 GB in the National League East; 1.5 GB in the Wild Card). Now, they have another ace on the mound, and facing a very sweep-able last place team. The Phillies even lucked out by not seeing Stephen Strasburg this series. Things keep getting better and better. Other teams should start to worry.
The last time the Phillies were in Washington, Roy Halladay made his Phillies debut. Now, another Roy will be doing the same. Newly acquired Roy Oswalt will make his first start as a Phillie, after waiving his no-trade clause in a trade that sent J.A Happ and two minor leaguers to Houston.
Oswalt is 6-12 this season, but don’t let that record fool you. The Astros are not a good team, and failed to give Oswalt run support. Hence why wins aren’t a good stat to use to determine how good a pitcher is. Oswalt has a good ERA of 3.42 and WHIP of 1.11. He averages about two walks, seven hits, and eight strikeouts per nine innings, having a respectable walks/strikeout ratio. He does not surrender the long ball often.
Oswalt finished in the top 5 in the Cy Young voting five times in his ten-year career. His repertoire consists of a fastball, curveball, changeup, and a slider. His curveball is his best off-speed pitch.
On the flip side, Craig Stammen goes for Washington. The 26-year old did not make it through six innings in his last five starts. He has struggled heavily against the Phillies, having an ERA over 15 in two starts.
Nine in a row would be sweet for the Phillies. Perhaps even sweeter because Roy Oswalt is a Phillie, and at a steal.
Your gameday beer: Yeah man. Here’s Dogfish 90 Minute IPA. The 90 Minute is a sterling beer, flavorful and not overly strong in taste. But it hits you, and it hits you hard. It’s 9 percent, so it gets you good after a few. Drink with caution. And eat some mussels with it. — By Tim