After a rough weekend series on the road against the Atlanta Braves, the Philadelphia Phillies will look to take advantage of Monday’s rare day off before they visit the Washington Nationals on Tuesday.
The Phillies fell 8-7 in 12 innings to the Braves on Saturday night and then were defeated 6-1 on Sunday, which ended a stretch of 17 games in 17 days. The day off was Philadelphia’s first since April 22.
Even ace Aaron Nola struggled Sunday, allowing five hits and five runs in only four innings.
“Pitchers aren’t going to be perfect,” Phillies manager Joe Girardi said. “That’s the bottom line.”
The Phillies will open against the Nationals with right-hander Chase Anderson (1-3, 5.54 ERA). Lifetime against the Nationals, Anderson is 0-2 record and a hefty 16.39 ERA, giving up 17 earned runs in 9 1/3 innings over three starts.
The Phillies at least have Jean Segura, who has continued to stay red hot. Segura went 1-for-4 Sunday and is hitting .384. On Saturday and Sunday, Segura was moved into the No. 2 spot, the first time he has been there in consecutive games this season. Rhys Hoskins was moved to the No. 7 hole.
“I just don’t think you can ignore what Jean is doing,” Girardi said. “He’s been so good vs. right-handers and left-handers, so I just flip flopped them. As I told Rhys, it’s not a permanent thing, but I think sometimes when a guy has swung the bat for a substantial period of time really well, I think sometimes you have to make adjustments.”
The Nationals will look to avoid a third consecutive loss when they host the Phillies.
The last two losses, by 4-3 and 3-2 scores, came against the New York Yankees and saw closer Brad Hand struggle. Hand threw 29 pitches on Saturday and 17 on Sunday. Hand allowed three hits and one earned run while blowing a save Saturday, and one hit with two walks and one run in 1/3 of an inning to take the loss Sunday, turning a potential successful weekend into a series defeat.
Hand recorded a major league-best 16 saves last season with the Cleveland Indians.
“He’s been doing really, really well for us,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. “So we’ve got to get him out there, and we’ve got to get him the ball.”
Said Hand: “These past two days, I’ve really just kind of beat myself, giving up the free baserunners there to begin the inning. You just can’t keep falling behind hitters like that.”
The Nationals will hand the ball to right-hander Erick Fedde (2-3, 5.27 ERA) on Monday. Against the Phillies, he is 2-4 with a 5.26 ERA lifetime in eight outings (seven starts).
Fedde has been most productive this season when he is able to throw his cut fastball for strikes.
“It’s been effective, it really has,” Martinez said of the pitch. “With the cutter and the sinker, the combination is really good because he works both sides of the plate.”
–Field Level Media