Cliff Lee (6-8, 3.16 ERA, 1.11 WHIP) went seven innings allowing just one run on three hits last Friday earning a no decision as the Phillies lost to the Marlins 2-1 on Carlos Lee’s walk of single. Lee has gone six or more innings in each start since he was hit around against the Marlins on June 29th. Against the Nationals this year, Lee is 2-0 in two starts and he has allowed just one run in 14 innings and struck out 12. Don’t let the record fool you, Lee has pitched very well this year as he has recorded 200 strikeouts and just 28 walks in 29 starts coming into today’s game.
Edwin Jackson (9-11, 4.13 ERA, 1.22 WHIP) lasted just 1.1 innings as he allowed nine runs on six hits against the Cardinals on Friday night. The Nationals have lost each of Jackson’s last four starts as he has pitched more than 5.1 innings just once over that span. In three starts against the Phillies this season, Jackson is 0-3 with a 4.34 ERA and has allowed three runs in each of his three starts.
The Phillies will be without team leader in homeruns, Jimmy Rollins, as he continues to rest his strained right calf. Rollins will finish the year hitting .250 with 23 homeruns and 68 RBI with 30 stolen bases and 102 runs scored. Ruf, who has opened eyes on every level he has played this season, will be making his first appearance at first base since joining the big club. After today, Ruf will be playing winter ball in Venezuela and getting more work in left field. The Phillies are looking to end on a high note today and get Lee his seventh win of the season. The Phillies have scored an average of 3.25 runs per game for Lee which is the fourth-lowest in Major League Baseball. If the Phillies win today, it will mark the 10th consecutive winning season for the club which would be a franchise record. The last time they did not have a winning record was in 2002 when they went 80-81. There are still milestones still in reach for some Phillies. Carlos Ruiz is one RBI shy of 300 for his career and Chase Utley needs one homerun for his 200th career long-drive.
The Nationals have begun to rest some of their key players before the beginning of the National League Divisional Series. Last night, manager Davey Johnson scratched NY Cy Young candidate Gio Gonzalez in order to set his rotation for the NLDS. Gonzalez will pitch Game 1 with Jordan Zimmermann starting Game 2 for Washington. With last night’s solo homerun, Adam LaRoche joins current third baseman Ryan Zimmerman and former first baseman Adam Dunn as the only players in Nationals history with 100 RBI or more in a season. With a win today, the Nationals can lock up home field advantage and, more importantly (kidding), tie the season series between the two clubs at 9-9.
1. Pierre LF
2. Frandsen 3B
3. Utley 2B
4. Ruiz C
5. Brown RF
6. Ruf 1B
7. Schierholtz CF
8. Martinez SS
9. Lee P
First pitch is slate for 1:05 pm. This will be the last time we see the Phillies in a regular season game until April 1 when the Phillies are in Atlanta to take on the Braves. The game can be seen on Comcast Sportsnet and heard on 94.1 WIP.
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