Phillies welcome Nationals for three-game set

Phillies welcome the Nationals to open a set in Philadelphia
Vince Velasquez will make his first start of the season tonight as the Phillies welcome the Nationals to Citizens Bank Park for a three-game set.

Velasquez tossed a perfect ninth inning in relief and struck out two in the Phillies’ 8-2 win over the Nationals last Tuesday.

“He’s had some really good side sessions recently,” Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said. “I know he’s worked really hard with C.Y. [pitching coach Chris Young]. I feel like he’s going to come out confidently. I think we’re going to see him use his fastball-breaking ball combination. I expect him to attack the strike zone.”

Velasquez pieced together a strong first half last season, but really struggled down the stretch last season. He also had issues this spring, pitching to a 12.79 ERA in 6 1/3 innings during three starts.

With some depth at the Triple-A level, the leash on Velasquez may be short. A solid outing tonight will help alleviate some of those concerns.

Tonight's Lineup
McCutchen 7
Segura 6
Harper 9
Hoskins 3
Realmuto 2
Herrera 8
Kingery 4
Franco 5
Velasquez 1
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BY PATRICK GORDON
Managing Editor
pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com

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