After yet another crushing defeat, the Philadelphia Phillies (47-45) will look to avoid being swept for the third time this season as they take on the Washington Nationals (49-42) in the finale of a three-game series. It sure looked like the Phillies were on their way to victory last night. Aaron Nola delivered with a fifth straight quality start and the bats were able to string together a few runs against Patrick Corbin early on. It was up to the bullpen, who pitched four shutout innings the night before, to close it out. With two out in the ninth, Juan Soto took a step towards the mound and crushed a two-run home run to give the Nationals the lead.
Today however, it is best to focus on the positives. The Phillies will honor Ryan Howard in a ceremony before today’s game. The former National League MVP, Rookie of the Year and Home Run Derby winner knocked in 382 home runs, 1194 RBIs, and had a slash line of .258/.343/.515 in just over 1,500 career games with the Phillies. From 2006-2009, “The Big Piece” hit 198 home runs, more than anyone else in the game during those four seasons and had a combined 16.2 fWAR through what was his most dominant stretch as a hitter. If it wasn’t for those seasons of low production after he had torn his achilles in the 2011 NLDS, he would be much higher on the Phillies All-Time WAR list and perhaps Phillies Nations Top 100.
Nonetheless, the Phillies are honoring a man who played an essential role in bringing a World Series title to Philadelphia and had done great work in the community throughout his 13-year tenure in the City of Brotherly Love:
Big Piece of our franchise.
Big Piece of our history.
Big Piece of our community. pic.twitter.com/bFELmhM3Lu
— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) July 14, 2019
Of course, the best way for the 2019 Phillies to honor Howard today is to launch a ball or two into Ashburn Alley and earn a victory against the Nationals. Here’s everything you need to know for today’s game…
Phillies Starting Lineup
- Scott Kingery, second base
- Jean Segura, short stop
- Bryce Harper, right field
- Rhys Hoskins, first base
- J.T. Realmuto, catcher
- Jay Bruce, left field
- Maikel Franco, third base
- Adam Haseley, center field
- Jake Arrieta, pitcher
Nationals Starting Lineup
- Trea Turner, short stop
- Adam Eaton, right field
- Anthony Rendon, third base
- Juan Soto, left field
- Matt Adams, first base
- Brian Dozier, second base
- Kurt Suzuki, catcher
- Victor Robles, center field
- Aníbal Sánchez, pitcher
Shibe Vintage Sports Starting Pitching Matchup
- Jake Arrieta (8-7, 4.67 ERA, 5.07 FIP, 4.53 xFIP) vs. Aníbal Sánchez (5-6, 3.66 ERA, 4.53 FIP, 4.88xFIP)
- Arrieta has been solid against the Nationals this season. In two starts, he is 0-1 with a 2.25 ERA, striking out 10 batters over 12 innings. He is pitching through a bone spur in his elbow.
- Sánchez has been on the losing end in two starts against the Phillies this season. He has given up two home runs, 13 hits and seven earned runs in 14.1 innings of work.
- Arrieta Fangraphs projected line: 5.53 IP, 5.89H, 1.30 HR, 2.13BB, 4.73K
- Sánchez Fangraphs projected line: 5.78 IP, 6.13 H, 1.56 HR, 2.02BB, 5.53K
Pregame Phillies Nuggets
- The Nationals have won 30 of their last 41 games, setting a franchise record for most wins in a 41-game stretch. They currently have the third best record in the National League after having the fourth worst record in all of baseball when the 41 game stretch began.
- For only the fifth time this season, Scott Kingery returns to his natural position, giving César Hernandez a day off at second base. Center fielder Adam Haseley will make his first career start at Citizens Bank Park as well.
- Ryan Howard still owns the longest home run in Citizens Bank Park history. On June 27th, 2007, “The Big Piece” launched a 505 F.T. home run into the old Phillies Wall-of-Fame off Reds pitcher Aaron Harang. Chase Utley is the only other Phillie to hit a home-run into that area of the ballpark. Howard has also hit two home-runs into third level in right field. Here is his grand slam into the first row of section 304 against the Nationals in 2009:
Ticket IQ Programming Information
- 1:05 P.M. first pitch (may be delayed due to the ceremony)
- NBC Sports Philadelphia. TBS (out-of-market only) Out-of-market viewers can also watch the game for free on MLB.TV as part of a free preview weekend.
- Sportsradio 94 WIP; WTTM 1680 (Spanish)