Results tagged ‘ Our Park ’
Welcome to NATITUDE Weekend at Our Park. This three-game set will feature the top of the Nationals rotation taking on the Philadelphia Phillies for the first time since Washington completed a four-game road sweep at Citizens Bank Park last September. For a complete guide to everything you need to know, click here. As far as the basics are concerned, the matchups are as follows:
Philadelphia Phillies (13-13, 4th place, -3.5 GB) vs. Washington Nationals (16-9, 1st place, 0.0 GB)
Game 1: Friday, May 4, 7:05pm
Probable Starters: RHP Kyle Kendrick (0-2, 6.59) vs. RHP Stephen Strasburg (2-0, 1.13)
Tickets: Still available
Breakdown: Reigning National League Pitcher of the Month Stephen Strasburg takes to the hill looking to lead the Nationals to their third consecutive win. The right-hander has allowed one or fewer runs in four of his five starts to date. Facing the Nationals lineup will be Kyle Kendrick, normally the Phillies swingman who is filling in the rotation for the injured Cliff Lee. Kendrick has allowed nine runs on 16 hits in 9.0 innings of work in his two starts so far, losing both.
Game 2: Saturday, May 5, 1:05pm
Probable Starters: RHP Vance Worley (2-1, 1.97) vs. LHP Gio Gonzalez (2-1, 1.82)
Tickets: Very limited
Breakdown: Gio Gonzalez saw his scoreless innings streak reach 25 before coming to an end in his last start. He shares the team lead and the fifth-highest total in the National League with 34 strikeouts as one of the four Nationals starters with both a sub-2.00 ERA and sub-1.00 WHIP. Vance Worley continues to be a solid find for the Phillies after an impressive campaign in 2011, but has surrendered a team-high four home runs.
Game 3: Sunday, May 6, 8:05pm
Probable Starters: LHP Cole Hamels (3-1, 2.78) vs. RHP Jordan Zimmermann (1-2, 1.89)
Tickets: Still available
Breakdown: Jordan Zimmermann will toe the rubber for the Nationals in the ESPN Sunday Night Baseball feature. A victim of low run support, the righty has won just one game despite striking out 22 batters against just three walks and posting a team-low 0.84 WHIP. The report on Cole Hamels shows that he is having another solid year, leading the team with 36 strikeouts. He has not been untouchable, though, allowing a run in every start and two or more in four of his five outings.
Well, it’s finally here. Welcome to NATITUDE Weekend at Nationals Park, the first three-game set of the year against the rival Phillies. If you are planning to attend any (or all) of this weekend’s games, here’s a handy guide to help arm you with the NATITUDE you need to show the Philly fans who decided to make the trip south to Our Park that Washington is ready to turn the tide both on the field and off.
1. Knowledge is power
The Nationals are off to a great start to 2012, and it helps to understand just how good they’ve been so far. As any Phillies fan will tell you, pitching is all-important in building a winner. So far, the Nationals have had the best staff in the game, and by a decent margin at that. Stephen Strasburg, who is scheduled to start the series opener on Friday, just took home National League Pitcher of the Month honors for April after going 2-0 with a 1.13 ERA (4 ER/32.0 IP), striking out 34 batters while walking just six over his first five starts of the year. In fact, four of the five Nats starting pitchers – including all three slated to start in this series – have ERAs under 2.00 going into Thursday night’s game. That’s something neither Phillies starters Cole Hamels (2.78) nor Roy Halladay (3.40) can claim.
2. Understand your history
Yes, the Phillies have won five straight National League East titles. You already know this, but you will no doubt be reminded of it several times this weekend. However, were you aware that the Nationals beat Philadelphia, 10-8, in the season series in 2011, including the final five games? Before completing a four-game sweep at Citizens Bank Park in September, the Nats won their last home game over Philadelphia in an extra-inning walk-off affair. Two days before that, Ryan Zimmerman cleared the bases with two outs in the bottom of the ninth with a walk-off grand slam.
3. Speaking of walk-offs…
The Nationals enter their series finale with the Diamondbacks Thursday night with a 9-3 home record, best in the division. Four of those victories have come in walk-off style, including Wednesday’s dramatic, two-out, two-run, come-from-behind, game-winning home run off the bat of Ian Desmond. The winning run in those games has been scored by four different players (Zimmerman, Danny Espinosa, Wilson Ramos, and Desmond), so you never know who the hero might be when you come to the ballpark.
4. There’s this guy named Bryce
They may boo him, but every opposing fan will have their eyes trained on home plate when 19 year-old Bryce Harper digs in. The outfielder turned in the first three-hit game of his young career on Wednesday, and is already altering games on defense with his cannon of an arm. Make sure you’re in your seat when Harper bats – you just might witness a piece of history.
5. Root, root, root for the home team
Bring your passion and energy to Our Park to cheer for the Nats. It’s going to be a fun, rowdy environment for sure, so bring your yelling voice. But should you run into some unruly visiting fans, don’t worry about wasting it on them. Let them regale you with stories about their .500 ballclub, and about how good they used to be. You know, in the past. Just take the high road and Ignite Your NATITUDE to support the NL East-leading Nats, the most exciting young team in baseball.
See you at Our Park this weekend!