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Preview Game 46: Phillies vs. Nationals

Kevin McGuireSenior Analyst IMay 29, 2009

NEW YORK - MAY 06:  Jimmy Rollins #11 of the Philadelphia Phillies at bat against the New York Mets at Citi Field on May 6, 2009 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

When the Phillies are scuffling offensively, the Washington Nationals seem to be at the ready.

The Phillies have taken seven of the first nine meetings this season, most recently leaving Washington with a four game sweep. Nothing ever comes easy though when the Phillies play the Nationals.

With the way the Phillies have been playing at home, you should expect another grind it out three-game series.

On the mound the Phillies would seem to have the edge in the series, starting with JA Happ throwing on Friday night's series opener.

In the wake of the news that Brett Myers could possibly miss the rest of the season, the time for the starting rotation to step things up a notch is now.

Happ already has been a solid pitcher this season, entering tonight's game 2-0 with a 2.60 ERA. With a WHIP of 0.98, the Nationals should have a tough time getting anything going against Happ.

Happ was brilliant in his last outing against the New York Yankees. Going six innings, Happ allowed just two runs to score in his first start of the season. In his six career games against the Nationals (both as a starter and a reliever), Happ has recorded a 2-0 record with batters hitting just .192.

On the flip side though, the Phillies offense has struggled at home, especially in the previous series against the Florida%20Marlins">Florida Marlins.

They look to get back on track against the Nationals' Ross Detwiler, making his third career start. The 2007 first round pick has allowed five hits and three earned runs in his first two starts (eleven innings total) and enters with a WHIP of 0.82. He has not recorded a decision. His toughest task will surely come tonight.

The Phillies need to turn things around at Citizens Bank Park, where they are just 9-14 this season. If they just played .500 baseball at home they would be in front in the NL East by at least a half game with a game in hand.

The Nationals are 6-17 on the road.

Phillies Record: 25-20
Nationals Record: 13-33

NL East Standings (Team, record, games behind)

  1. Mets 26-20, -
  2. PHILLIES 25-20, .5
  3. Braves 23-24, 3.5
  4. Marlins 22-26, 5.0
  5. Nationals 13-33, 13.0
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Pitching probables: Detwiler (0-0, 2.45 ERA) vs. Happ (2-0, 2.60 ERA)

TV: Comcast Sportsnet

First pitch: 7:05pm

Season Series: Phillies lead 7-2

4.13 @ Washington W 9-8 Preview/Open Thread/Recap
4.15 @ Washington POSTPONED Preview
4.16 @ Washington L 2-8 Preview/Open Thread/Recap
4.27 WASHINGTON W 13-11 Preview/Open Thread/Recap
4.28 WASHINGTON W 7-1 Preview/Open Thread/Recap/Photos
4.29 WASHINGTON L 1-4 Preview/Open Thread/Recap
5.15 @ Washington W 10-6 (12) Open Thread
5.16 @ Washington W 8-5 Open Thread(rescheduled)
5.16 @ Washington W 7-5 (6)Open Thread
5.17 @ Washington W 8-6 Open Thread

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