Gameday

Harper, Phillies open crucial 5-game series in D.C.


Bryce Harper made six All-Star teams while with the Nationals. (Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire)

Bryce Harper got the first laugh against his former team, launching a home run in a 3-5 performance in his return to Washington, D.C. on April 2. But as Harper and the Philadelphia Phillies prepare for their final trip to Nationals Park this season, it feels overwhelmingly likely that the Nationals will get the last laugh in 2019.

Individually, Harper has had a strong season, as the 26-year-old has slashed .256/.373/.502 with 33 home runs, 108 RBIs and a 4.4 fWAR. That’s come for a Phillies team whose offense hasn’t been the juggernaut that some expected, while injuries have decimated the bullpen and a lack of development from young starters has made the rotation a revolving door behind ace Aaron Nola.

The Phillies enter Monday evening at 79-75, just three wins away from their first winning season in seven years, but a full six games behind the Nationals and Milwaukee Brewers for one of the two National League Wild Card spots.

Meanwhile, the Nationals have overcome a 24-33 start to find themselves at 85-69, almost certain to return to the postseason.

That said, the Nationals have quite a bit to play for in the final week of the season. Even with reigning National League MVP Christian Yelich lost for the season, the Brewers have gone 17-4 in September, allowing themselves to pull into a tie with the Nationals for the top Wild Card spot in the National League. They’re playing this week for a chance to host the National League Wild Card Game, something that seemed like a formality just a few weeks ago.

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Monday night’s Phillies-Nationals tilt:

Phillies Lineup 

  1. Jean Segura, shortstop
  2. Bryce Harper, right field
  3. Scott Kingery, third base
  4. Rhys Hoskins, first base
  5. Jose Pirela, left field
  6. Cesar Hernandez, second base
  7. Adam Haseley, center field
  8. Andrew Knapp, catcher
  9. Zach Eflin, pitcher

Nationals Lineup 

  1. Trea Turner, shortstop
  2. Adam Eaton, right field
  3. Anthony Rendon, third base
  4. Juan Soto, left field
  5. Howie Kendrick, first base
  6. Asdrubal Cabrera, second base
  7. Victor Robles, center field
  8. Yan Gomes, catcher
  9. Patrick Corbin, pitcher

Shibe Vintage Sports Starting Pitching Matchup

  • Zach Eflin (9-12, 4.00 ERA and 4.64 FIP) vs. Patrick Corbin (13-7, 3.10 ERA and 3.36 FIP)
  • Eflin has a 1.19 ERA in four starts in September.
  • Since the All-Star Break, Corbin is 6-2 with a 2.76 ERA in 13 starts. He’s 7-2 with a 2.00 ERA in 14 starts at Nationals Park in 2019.

Pregame Phillies Nuggets

  1. In 14 games against the Nationals in 2019, Bryce Harper has two home runs, has eight RBIs and 13 walks.
  2. Juan Soto, who won’t turn 21 until October, has slashed .324/.415/.657 with nine home runs and 26 RBIs in 105 career at-bats against the Phillies.
  3. Scott Kingery has just a .293 on-base percentage in 63 games since the All-Star Break. In 58 first-half games, the 25-year-old produced a .344 on-base percentage.

Programming Information

  • 7:05 p.m. ET
  • Nationals Park
  • NBC Sports Philadelphia 
  • SportsRadio 94 WIP

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  3. Alex Cora: Aaron Nola Is The Best Pitcher We’ve Faced The Last Two Seasons
  4. Matt Klentak Says Scott Kingery’s Versatility Makes Him ‘Incredibly Valuable’ 
  5. What Would A Long-Term Deal Look Like For J.T. Realmuto?
  6. Phillies Reportedly Considered Waiving Maikel Franco Before Season’s End
  7. Bryce Harper: It Would Be ‘An Absolute Joke’ If J.T. Realmuto Doesn’t Win Gold Glove Award
  8. Minor League Mash-Up: Howard, Bohm Highlight Regular Season
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