Monday, May 30, 2016

Phillies back home looking to build momentum against Nationals

Ryan Howard hit just .118 on the Phillies previous road trip. He's hitting in the fourth slot tonight.
The Phillies return home tonight for the first of ten consecutive contests at Citizens Bank Park and open a three-game series with the Washington Nationals. This on the heels of a 1-5 road trip that included a three-game sweep by the Cubs where the Phillies scored a total of just five runs.

On the season, the Phillies are tied with the woeful Atlanta Braves for the worst run output per game in the National League averaging just 3.2 runs. The club also has the second worst wOBA in baseball during the month of May (.281), sitting just ahead of the Braves.

Manager Pete Mackanin has already taken the step of limiting Ryan Howard's playing time, but the lineup aside from Odubel Herrera and Tyler Goeddel needs to start producing if the club plans to remain above .500.

Howard does, however, find himself in Monday's lineup as he's hit Nationals' starter Tanner Roark rather well over his career; 4-for-12 with a double and a homer.

Oddly, the Phillies have the forth best home record in the majors, despite scoring just 2.7 runs per game.

On the Mound
Jeremy Hellickson pitched well in his last outing, tossing seven innings against the Tigers while surrendering just three runs on seven hits in a 3-1 defeat. He collected seven strikeouts and scattered three walks.  

Hellickson has already faced the Nationals twice this season, scattering five earned runs over 10 innings. The good sign is that the better of the two starts was his last, coming on April 27th in Washington where he pitched seven scoreless innings while allowing just two hits.

The Nationals counter tonight with Tanner Roark. The righty hurled seven shutout innings against the Phillies on April 28th but has not recorded a win against Philadelphia over five starts dating back to July of 2014.

About the Nationals
Washington enters Monday sitting atop the NL East by a game over the New York Mets. The club's 15 wins on the road rank as the third highest total in the NL behind Chicago (17), Miami (16), and San Francisco (13) ... Bryce Harper has homered in six consecutive games at Citizens Bank Park, tying a mark set by Hall of Famer Ernie Banks in 1955 ... Jayson Werth hit a pinch-hit grandslam on Sunday afternoon as the Nationals trumped the St. Louis Cardinals, 10-2. The slam was Werth's first as a pinch-hitter.

Tonight's Phillies lineup
1. Herrera, 8
2. Galvis, 6
3. Franco, 5
4. Howard, 3
5. Ruiz, 2
6. Hernandez, 4
7. Goeddel, 7
8. Hellickson, 1
9. Bourjos, 9 
______________________________________________________

Follow Patrick on Twitter: @PGordonPBR

BY PATRICK GORDON
Managing Editor
pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com

0 comments: