Series Previews 2018

Phillies open three-game set in Washington hoping to bury Nationals

Max Scherzer will square off with Aaron Nola in the final game of the Phillies-Nationals series. (Arturo Pardavila III/Wikimedia Commons)

The Philadelphia Phillies Phillies three-game set with the Washington Nationals will give them an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone.

At this stage of the year, any three-game series is important for a team like the Phillies, who are in the thick of both the National League East and National League Wild Card races. But after the Nationals traded Daniel Murphy and Matt Adams Tuesday, this series seemingly gives the Phillies a chance to make the National League East a two-team race and push a Wild Card contender out of the picture.

On the mound for the Nationals in this series, we will see Tanner Roark, Stephen Strasburg and Cy Young Award candidate Max Scherzer. The Phillies will counter with Vince Velasquez, Zach Eflin and another Cy Young Award candidate in Aaron Nola. The highlight of the series, of course, will be a matchup between Scherzer and Nola in the series finale, as both are competing for the National League Cy Young Award and potentially even the MVP.

In many ways, this will be a symbolic series. The Phillies clinched three of their five National League East titles between 2007 and 2011 against the Nationals organization. In between 2011 and 2018, the Nationals have had quite a bit of team success. But as the Phillies return into the picture of contention, this series offers them a chance to help close the book on the 2018 Nationals.

Pitching Matchups

Game 1: Vince Velasquez (8-9, 4.13 ERA, 3.70 FIP) vs. Tanner Roark (8-12, 4.13 ERA, 4.11 FIP)

Game 2: Zach Eflin (9-4, 3.70 ERA, 3.77 FIP) vs. Stephen Strasburg (6-7, 3.90 ERA, 3.50 FIP)

Game 3: Aaron Nola (14-3, 2.24 ERA, 2.73 FIP) vs. Max Scherzer (16-5, 2.11 ERA, 2.59 FIP)

Where to Watch/Listen

Game 1

TV: NBC Sports Philadelphia

Radio: SportsRadio 94 WIP

Game 2

TV: MLB Network

Radio: SportsRadio 94 WIP

Game 3

TV: MLB Network

Radio: SportsRadio 94 WIP

Series Notes

  • Aaron Nola is 2-0 with a 1.98 ERA in his two starts against the Nationals this season.
  • Asdrubal Cabrera has a .385 batting average in 39 games against the Nationals this season.
  • Since the All Star Break. Bryce Harper is batting .350 with seven home runs and 25 RBIs.
  • In his last seven starts, Max Scherzer is 5-0 with a 1.53 ERA. He, along with Jacob deGrom, could very well stand in the way of Nola winning the National League Cy Young Award and/or MVP.

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  1. Craig Glessner

    August 21, 2018 at 8:10 pm

    If they don’t take at least 2 of 3 from the Nationals they can forget about the playoffs. After losing 3 of 5 to the terrible Mets who can’t score except for the 43 they put up on us we have bigger problems. If they plan on making a serious push for the playoffs the Phillies need to address 2 obvious problems. First, Hoskins is very bad in left field he needs to replace Santana at first and let Quinn play left. 2nd, the Phil’s need another starting pitcher to go with Nola, Arietta, and Eflin. Velasquez and Pivetta are fading fast, I think both would be great in the bullpen but now we need 2 starters. I don’t know what we could get from waivers and that leaves De Los Santos and Cole Irvin and Ranger Suarez who just got rocked last week. Maybe Velasquez and Pivetta split 9 innings and we only need 1 starter. Someone needs to light a fire under some butts and start playing hard every inning like Utley did or the Phillies will miss out on a golden opportunity this season and ask Strasburg you never play for the future you play for today. GEAUX PHILLIES

  2. Vernon Dozier

    August 22, 2018 at 6:33 am

    It’s probably about the time to thank the Phillies for participating in the 2018 pennant race. It was fun while it lasted. As our old friend Pete Mackanin would say, this team needs a professional hitter or two (or three).

    #BeBold #ElTorito #WaitTillNextYear

  3. PhillyBite

    August 22, 2018 at 10:18 pm

    The Phillies 2019 season leads off with the club’s home opener against the Atlanta Braves on Thursday, March 28, at Citizens Bank Park.

  4. Vernon Dozier

    August 23, 2018 at 5:17 am

    This is getting ugly. On the bright side, they just need to go 13-23 in these last 36 games to finish at .500. On the more pessimistic side, Klentak still has a lot of work in front of him.

    #BeBold #ElTorito #WaitTillNextYear

  5. Jeffrey Orbach

    August 23, 2018 at 9:12 am

    IMHO-The Phillies are just regressing to the norm. Too many K’s…too many errors etc. They need to cut out the radical shifting, which is hurting them, because players don’t know where they are supposed to be. Get Harper and or Machado and they’ll be good next year.

    On the positive side, the young players and young manager are learning why pennant baseball in late August early Sept is different than baseball in June and July.

    • Vernon Dozier

      August 23, 2018 at 12:35 pm

      “Get Harper and or Machado and they’ll be good next year.”

      I agree with the sentiment, but you’re making it sound a lot easier than it will actually be to accomplish.

      #BeBold #ElTorito #WaitTillNextYear

  6. Craig Glessner

    August 23, 2018 at 1:32 pm

    I don’t care if we get Machado or Harper we need a long term deal like 8 years with Nola. Everybody is talking about next year but hopefully somebody in that clubhouse is pissed off and trying to fire everyone else up because that is the attitude we need not oh no we are 3 games out it was a good year we quit. This next month will show who wants to fight and who we can do without. One game at a time keep fighting GEAUX PHILLIES

  7. Craig Glessner

    August 24, 2018 at 3:09 pm

    Sounds like something a wait till next year person would say. Nola is hands down the MVP on this team but hey who needs a dominant ace anyways. To build a dynasty you build from within not overpaid yard sale free agents. I’m not knocking on Machado or Harper but we need to lock down our ace. You say we have depth at pitcher yes but not anyone near Nola with the slim possibility of Sixto. By the way Tampa got nothing for Archer, Glasnow has already been sent to the bullpen, Meadows is a good outfielder with OK potential and the other player is still a couple of years away from knowing what he is. If we wait to sign Nola he will be gone like Harper and Machado. To win big games we need a GAMER and Nola is our only one. Pitching wins titles GEAUX PHILLIES make your own destiny and play for today not tomorrow

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