Kyle Kendrick (10-11, 3.89 ERA, 1.27 WHIP) went 6.2 innings allowing two runs on six hits in last Friday’s win over the Atlanta Braves. Needed a bounce back outing Kendrick threw 65 of his 98 total pitches for strikes. This season is the fourth time in Kendrick’s career that he has posted 10 wins or more. Tonight he looks to tie his career high of 11 wins which he did twice (2008 and 2010). Kendrick is 8-3 with a 2.73 ERA in 17 games (10 starts) since the All Star Break and opponents are hitting just .215 off of him. In his last six starts against the Nationals dating back to September 18, 2010, Kendrick has not allowed more than two earned runs. He is 2-1 with a 2.21 ERA against Washington over that span.
John Lannan (3-0, 4.43 ERA, 1.43 WHIP) went just 3.2 innings allowing six runs on eight hits in the second game of a doubleheader last Wednesday against the Dodgers but ended up getting a no decision thanks to a six run eighth inning by the Nationals instead of a well deserved loss. Lannan was the Nationals Opening Day starter in 2009 and 2010 before losing his spot in the rotation. Against the Phillies in his career, Lannan is 2-12 with a 5.79 ERA in 17 starts. In seven career starts at Citizens Bank Park, he is 1-5 with 7.06 ERA. Lannan has started more games than anyone else in Nationals history (since 2005).
After losing nine of their previous ten games, the Phillies have taken seven of their last eight games from the Nationals. They have outscored Washington 33-14 over those eight games and haven’t lost to the Nationals at home since May 22nd. Despite needing a minor miracle to make the playoffs, the Phillies have made a push back to respectability in the second half of the season. The surge is due in large part to the success of their bullpen. Since the All Star Break the bullpen has an ERA of 2.92 which is good for fourth in the National League. Their ERA ranked 15th in the National League in the first half as it ballooned to 4.76 in 219.1 innings. With the win last night, the Phillies have won 15 games or more in September for nine straight seasons. On the milestone watch tonight, Chase Utley is still just one homerun shy of 200 for his career.
The Nationals were hoping to clinch the NL East title before the weekend so manager Davey Johnson could rest some of his starters. Thanks in part to the Phillies offense burst and the Braves late inning heroics, Washington must wait until the weekend at the earliest to wrap up the division title as their magic number remains at five games. First baseman Adam LaRoche enters the game with 98 RBI and is looking to drive in over 100 on the year. LaRoche’s career high for RBI in a season is 100 which he accomplished in Arizona in 2010. He has already tied his career high in homeruns with 32 which he accomplished in 2006 in Atlanta. The Nationals franchise record for RBI in a season is 110 by Ryan Zimmerman in his rookie season in 2006. On this day last year, the Nationals trailed the Phillies by 21.5 games and were in third place in the NL East. This year, the Nationals lead the third place Phillies by 15 games. However, on the season, the Nationals are 5-8 and have lost four straight to Philadelphia.
1. Rollins SS
2. Mayberry CF
3. Utley 2B
4. Howard 1B
5. Ruiz C
6. Brown RF
7. Ruf LF
8. Frandsen 3B
9. Kendrick P
The game starts at 7:05 pm at Citizens Bank Park. The game can be seen on Comcast Sportsnet and ESPN 2 and also heard on 94.1 WIP.
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