The Phils were able to salvage the final game of the series against the Mets by a score of 5-1 behind timely hitting and four scoreless innings from the pen. With yesterday’s win, the Phils pull their record to 60-70. The club did not reach its 60th win last season until September 29th – a month improved this year. The Phillies will open a six-game homestand tonight, starting with the division-leading Washington Nationals.
Tanner Roark has been solid all season for the Nationals, sporting a sub three ERA. The 29-year has dazzled the Phillies this season. In three starts against the Phils, Roark is 2-0 and has allowed just two earned runs in 21 innings of work. On the other hand, Jake Thompson seems to have left his groove down in Triple-A. He has been unable to record a quality outing in his time with the Phillies. In what still could be major league jitters, Thompson’s control just isn’t what it needs to be and he’s allowed 13 walks and five home runs in his four big league starts. Nats catcher Wilson Ramos is leading the National League triple crown amongst catchers.
Max Scherzer is coming off an eight inning, two hit, no run performance against the Orioles and is in playoff form. Since the All Star break, Scherzer sports a 3-1 record with a 2.65 ERA – opponents are hitting just .188 against him. The former Detroit Tiger is 6-1 lifetime against the Phils with an ERA of 2.36. Jerad Eickhoff is also coming off a strong and efficient performance, his in Chicago. Eickhoff’s biggest hurdle is facing the lineup two and three times in a start. Through innings 1-3, the right-hander posts a 1.96 ERA. In innings 4-6, the 25-year old’s ERA skyrockets to 6.01. Eickhoff will have his hands full with MVP candidate Daniel Murphy, as he is second in the NL in average. Murphy is hitting an astounding .279 with two strikes.
Like many pitchers, Gio Gonzalez thrives against the Phils. Lifetime, the left-hander is 8-6 with a 2.82 ERA. He’s even better at CBP, tallying a 2.52 ERA in eleven starts. Meanwhile, fellow lefty Adam Morgan has struggled in the bigs all year. Morgan has recorded a quality start in just five of his 17 starts. He was roughed up for six runs in five innings of work against the New York Mets on Friday. In what is supposed to be a hitter-friendly park, Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco has struggled mightily, hitting just .231 with just ten home runs. He has blasted twelve on the road. Nationals superstar Bryce Harper is having a so-so year. He enters the game with just a .254 average with 22 home runs and 73 RBIs – almost identical numbers to Franco. Since the Nats acquired Mark Melancon from Pittsburgh on July 30th, he has dominated hitters with a sub one ERA in 13 games.