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Phillies take final series against Nationals

A series win against the Nationals! Hey!

It’s time for a daily news report.


Remember when the Phils torched the Nationals for 17 runs back in April? When they scored 12 in the greatest inning in franchise history? That series was the last time the Phils beat the Nationals in a series … until now.

With a 7-5 win Wednesday, the Phils will now NOT lose 99 games. Fun, huh?

Aaron Altherr went 2-for-4 and had the big blow, a two-RBI double, while Odubel Herrera also had two hits, including a double. Another fine effort from the bullpen finished it off.

The Phils are now two ahead of the Giants in the standings, meaning San Francisco’s magic number to clinch the worst record in baseball is two. Whatever – let them do it.

Coming this season to Fox

Pete Mackanin wants a good starting pitcher this offseason. He wants … a “stabilizer.”

Let him explain:

“I’d like to see someone you can count on. For various reasons, mainly injuries, no one has been that guy other than Nola.”

Not sure if he wants someone like Yu Darvish or just someone who should pitch quality innings; the latter seems likelier, and would jibe much more with what the Phils’ front office will probably do. No need to get a top-of-the-line, expensive starter right now – that time may or will come. What they need is another No. 2, maybe even a No. 3 to go next to Nola.

Less like Eick?

Jerad Eickhoff knows he has something to prove this offseason. The righty turned in a below-average season – 4.71 ERA in 128 IP – and says he’s determined to improve so that he’s part of the 2018 rotation.

But he cites the fastball. That’s not the only thing he’ll have to work on; mostly, Eickhoff can’t rely on secondary stuff. His curveball – while sometimes effective – is more prone to big fly balls than other curves. And his slider? Forget it. It’s closer to that curve and gets rocked quite a bit. The changeup isn’t very effective either, and he rarely uses it. He apparently throws a two-seamer along with the four-seamer, but there’s not a ton of variation between the two. Basically you have a pitcher with one good pitch and four pitches rating anywhere from bad to average.

If Eickhoff is going to be a quality starter, he’ll need to improve at least one of those secondary pitches.

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