Hamels and the Phillies are set to square-off against Washington in Thursday’s series finale
Philadelphia threw-up the white flag on a season to forget by trading Shane Victorino to the Dodgers and Hunter Pence to the Giants before Tuesday’s deadline, but mustered enough offense to pound-out an 8-0 victory in Game 1 of this series as a 124 road underdog. The total went ‘over’ the 6.5 line and as now gone ‘over’ in five of its last seven games. Tuesday night’s win raised the Phillies overall record to 46-57 and to 25-28 on the road.
The only real bright spot for Philadelphia this season has been the performance of Thursday night’s starter, Cole Hamels. The left-hander was rewarded with one of the highest paying contracts in the Majors to keep him with the team. In 20 previous starts this season, he is 11-5 with a 3.31 ERA. Look for Hamels to bounce back from a horrible showing against the Braves in which he gave-up three earned runs on four hits while walking six. He is 12-4 lifetime against the Nationals with an ERA of 2.48.
Despite the loss in Game 1 of this series, Washington remains on a roll with an 8-2 record in its last 10 games heading into Wednesday night’s contest. It remains embroiled in a heated race for the NL East title with Atlanta and has seen its lead whittled-down to just 2.5 games. The Nationals are 61-41 overall and 28-20 at home this season. The total has stayed ‘under’ in four of their last seven games.
Washington’s lineup is averaging a respectable 4.32 runs per game, but its primary strength lies in its pitching. It has quality starters throughout the rotation and the lowest team ERA in the Majors at 3.30. Ross Detwiler is scheduled to be on the mound in this one. The left-hander is 5-4 this season with an ERA of 3.24. He gave-up four earned runs on seven hits in a loss to the Brewers his last time out after allowing a total of four earned runs in his previous three starts. Detwiler is 1-3 with a 4.45 ERA against Philadelphia.
The Phillies win on Tuesday was just their third against Washington in the last 12 meetings, but they are 2-2 at Nationals Park this year. They clearly have the edge in this matchup with Hamels on the mound and use it to close this series out with a win. Philadelphia 3 Washington 2