The Phillies take a five-game winning streak into tonight’s 7:15 p.m. game against the visiting Washington Nationals, and the offense will face a major challenge.
Make that the offenses of both teams should be highly challenged. LHP Cole Hamels (3-5, 2.87 ERA) faces Nationals RHP Stephen Strasburg (7-6 3.47).
Hamels has gone eight consecutive starts allowing three or fewer earned runs.
He is 15-6 with a 2.58 ERA lifetime against the Nationals.
Strasburg has been up and down. In his last seven starts he has a 4.00 ERA. He is 3-1 with a 2.32 ERA in eight career starts against the Phillies.
For the second straight game, Grady Sizemore will bat leadoff. He was originally supposed to play center field, because Domonic Brown was in the original lineup.
Brown is now out due to illness, so Sizemore is in left field and Ben Revere starts in center.
Manager Ryne Sandberg said after Friday’s 6-2 win, he liked what he saw of Sizemore in his debut, when he went 1 for 4.
“He hit two balls right on the nose and looked like he had a good swing, used the whole field,” Sandberg said. “He had some good hop in his step, looked good for me, quality at-bats and stung the ball.”
The Phillies (42-51) trail both the Nationals and Atlanta Braves by eight games in the National League East.
Here is the Phillies lineup.
1. Grady Sizemore, LF
2. Jimmy Rollins, SS
3. Chase Utley, 2B
4. Ryan Howard, 1B
5. Marlon Byrd, RF
6. Cody Asche, 3B
7. Cameron Rupp, C
8. Ben Revere, CF
9. Cole Hamels, P