Tuesday: v. Cubs (7:05 pm - Kendrick)
Wednesday: v. Cubs (7:05 pm - Hamels)
Thursday: v. Cubs (1:05 pm - Martin)
Friday: @ Nationals (7:05 pm - Lannan)
Saturday: @ Nationals (7:05 pm - Lee)
Sunday: @Nationals (5:05 pm - Kendrick)
Cubs (3 Games)(Photo: Chicago Tribune)
Player to Watch: 1B Anthony Rizzo - Rizzo has been one of the lone bright spots for the Cubs this year and, at only 23 years old, he will likely be a bright spot for years to come. In 110 games this season, Rizzo is batting .240/.334/.447 with a team-leading 17 home runs, 62 RBIs, and 54 runs. His 31 doubles and 50 extra-base hits are second and fourth in the National League, respectively. This will be his first taste against the Phillies pitching staff.
Nationals (3 Games)(Photo: SI.com)
Player to Watch: SS Ian Desmond - Desmond is surprisingly leading the team in a number of major offensive statistics. He is tied for the team-lead in home runs with 16 while he leads the team outright in runs (51) and OPS (.799) [note: among Nationals that qualify]. The 2012 All-Star is batting .273/.330/.468 and has stolen 15 of the 18 bags he has attempted. In 62 career games against the Phillies, the 27 year old is batting .241/.274/.409 with eight home runs and 30 RBIs. Interestingly the last time Desmond played in Philadelphia, he decided to shave in the middle of the game.
Phillies (6 Games)(Photo: Bettor.com)
The Phillies curiously stood pat at the MLB trade deadline without selling any of their valuable assets, such as Michael Young. General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. stated that the team didn't "make a move just to make a move." I cannot understand the rationale behind keeping Michael Young who has some value to a contender and very little value to a Phillies team that is not going anywhere this season.
In addition to the mess on the field, the Phillies got hit with a semi-off-the-field matter as well. Reliever Antonio Bastardo was one of a number of players who accepted a 50 game suspension for performance-enhancing drug use related to Tony Bosch's Biogenesis clinic. Bastardo, 27, was 3-2 with a 2.32 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP with two saves in 48 games this season.
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