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Series Preview: Nationals at Phillies, May 21-23

A budding rivalry is set to continue as the Washington Nationals (24-17) visit the Phillies (21-21) for a three-game series beginning Monday night at Philadelphia's Citizens Bank Park.

Initially sparked up this year when the Nationals organization attempted to prevent Philadelphia fans from attending their team's games at Nationals Park, the rivalry's intensity reached considerably greater levels this month when lefty pitcher Cole Hamels admitted to intentionally hitting highly hyped rookie outfielder Bryce Harper with a pitch to welcome him to the big leagues.

Fresh off a series loss to Boston, the Phillies remain in last place in the National League East division which they have won for five consecutive season.  The Nationals are in second place in the same division, 1 1/2 games behind Atlanta for the top spot.  The challenge to catch the Nats and the Braves will only get tougher for the Phils, as they start a stretch of 6 straight series against teams with winning records, on Monday.

Read ahead for details on the pitching match ups and plenty more statistical details from this series.



Monday, 7:05 PM.  Gio Gonzalez (5-1, 2.22 ERA) vs. Kyle Kendrick (0-3, 5.96 ERA).  In his lone career start against Philadelphia, the former Phillies prospect Gonzalez earned a win with 7 innings of 1-run ball earlier this month.  Gonzalez is 2-1 with a 3.48 ERA in 4 road starts this season.  In 14 career games against the Nationals, Kendrick has a 2-3 record with a 5.19 ERA.  This season opponents are batting .330 against Kendrick.  Ryan Zimmerman is 10-for-22 (.455 avg) with 7 doubles and a HR in his career against Kendrick.


Tuesday, 7:05 PM.  Jordan Zimmermann (2-4, 2.58 ERA) vs. Roy Halladay (4-3, 3.22 ERA).  In 4 career starts against the Phillies, Zimmermann has a 0-3 record with a 6.00 ERA.  Zimmermann is 1-3 with a 3.91 ERA in his last 4 starts.  Halladay is 11-1 with a 2.28 ERA in 16 career games (15 starts) against the Nationals.  In 4 home starts this season, Halladay has a 1-2 record with a 2.57 ERA.


Wednesday, 7:05 PM.  Edwin Jackson (1-1, 3.31 ERA) vs. Cole Hamels (6-1, 2.48 ERA).  In his last 6 starts, Jackson has no decisions but has posted a 2.93 ERA.  Jackson allowed 5 earned runs over 5 innings in his lone career start against the Phillies.  Placido Polanco is 0-for-6 in his career against Jackson.  In 21 career starts against the Nationals, Hamels has posted an 11-4 record with a 2.62 ERA.  In his last 7 starts, Hamels is 6-0 with a 2.20 ERA.


Ryan Zimmerman has a .285 batting average with 13 HR and 61 RBI in 97 career games against the Phillies.  Zimmerman is batting .244 in 12 road games this season.

In 8 road games, Bryce Harper has posted a .188 batting average.  Harper has gone 10-for-31 (.322 avg) with 2 triples and 2 homers in his last 7 games.

Henry Rodriguez, who leads the Nats with 9 saves, has posted a 0-3 record with 3 blown saves and a 9.82 ERA in 9 road games this season.

Carlos Ruiz's .355 batting average ranks 3rd in the National League.  Ruiz is a .309 hitter in 74 career games against the Nats.

Ty Wigginton is 8-for-49 (.163 average) with no extra base hits in May.

Shane Victorino's .282 batting average in 19 May games is much improved over his .228 mark in in 23 April games.

Nationals team ERA this month- 3.63 (7th in NL)
Phillies team ERA this month- 4.30 (13th in NL)

Nationals runs per game this month- 4.26
Phillies runs per game this month- 5.0
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