Results tagged ‘ Roy Halladay ’
Washington Nationals (77-48) vs. Philadelphia Phillies (59-67)
LHP Gio Gonzalez (16-6, 3.23) vs. RHP Roy Halladay (7-7, 3.95)
The Nationals dropped their series opener in Philadelphia, but turn to ace Gio Gonzalez to get them back on track Saturday night. With the Braves losing for the second straight night in San Francisco, Washington enters the day with a 6.5-game lead in the NL East with 37 games to play.
1. Lombardozzi 2B
2. Harper CF
3. Zimmerman 3B
4. LaRoche 1B
5. Werth RF
6. Bernadina LF
7. Espinosa SS
8. Suzuki C
9. Gonzalez LHP
FIRST THINGS FIRST
Before Friday’s 4-2 setback at Citizens Bank Park, Washington had won six consecutive series openers (not coincidentally, the Nationals were 5-0-1 in those six series) since July 31, when these same Phillies won, 8-0, at Nationals Park. With last night’s defeat, the Nationals have dropped four of their last five games against the Phillies.
GIO AND DOC
Gio Gonzalez looks to win his fourth straight start tonight, as he faces the Philadelphia Phillies for the third time in 2012. Gio is 2-0 with a 0.69 ERA (1 ER/13.0 IP) in his two starts against Philadelphia this year. Opposing him is Roy Halladay, who is 0-1 against Washington this year. The Nationals are 2-6 in games started by Halladay since he joined Philadelphia, but have won the last two (8/21/11 in D.C., 5/22/12).
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!
There could be showers on the way–most likely rains showers and possibly champagne showers. The tarp has been off the infield for a while but it is still in the outfield. The Nats didn’t take outdoor batting practice either. The Nats have zero control of the rain showers and can only do so much for preventing the Phillies from celebrating the NL East title at Nationals Park. The Phillies magic number is 1, meaning it will take a magical event for the Phillies to not celebrate at Nats Park. Even if the Nats sweep the series, it won’t prevent the Phillies from clinching unless the Braves sweep the Marlins in Atlanta. It seems inevitable that the champagne will be off the ice one of these next three days.
It is hard to believe just 25 weeks ago, John Lannan and Roy Halladay toed the rubber to begin the 2010 season at Nationals Park. Ryan Zimmerman hit a RBI double in the first inning but that was all the offense they could muster in the 11-1 loss. Halladay hasn’t allowed a run against the Nationals since the first inning on Opening Day. It sounds more impressive than it actually is but it is a stretch that has lasted 13.0 innings. Lannan and Halladay take the mound again tonight.
A win for Halladay would give him a Major League-best 21 wins and could sway a few votes his way in a very tight NL Cy Young race. He is also pitching on five days rest which is only notable since he is 8-2 with a 1.59 ERA in 11 starts when he gets five days of rest. A win for Lannan will tie his career high of nine, but more importantly would continue his impressive surge since he was called up from Double-A Harrisburg. The shaggy-haired southpaw is 6-2 with a 3.16 ERA (62.2 IP/ 22ER) in 10 starts. Not that Lannan needs any additional motivation but it is his birthday, 26th birthday at that. There isn’t anything significant about turning 26 but it will be a memorable night with a win against the Phillies. He pitched on his birthday two years ago–a loss against the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. If he gets the win today, he will become the second Nationals starter to pocket a win on his birthday this season. Can you name the first pitcher?
*Jim Lett’s legion of bullpen arms ranks third in MLB since the All-Star break with a 2.95 ERA. Only postseason contenders San Diego (2.75) and Atlanta (2.78) have fared better. Oh it gets better, Washington’s 2.07 bullpen ERA in September ranks second in MLB behind only San Francisco (1.29).
1. Shane Victorino – CF
2. Placido Polanco – 3B
3. Chase Utley – 2B
4. Ryan Howard – 1B
5. Jayson Werth – RF
6. Raul Ibanez – LF
7. Carlos Ruiz – C
8. Wilson Valdez – SS
9. Roy Halladay – SP (20-10, 2.53 ERA)
1. Danny Espinosa – 2B
2. Nyjer Morgan – CF
3. Ian Desmond – SS
4. Adam Dunn – 1B
5. Michael Morse – RF
6. Roger Bernadina – LF
7. Wilson Ramos – C
8. Alberto Gonzalez – 3B
9. John Lannan – SP (8-7, 4.58 ERA)