Manager: Gabe Kapler (1st season)
Last 10 games: 6-4
Who to watch: LF Rhys Hoskins (43 RBIs), CF OdÃºbel Herrera (.298, 13 HR, 45 RBIs), 1B Carlos Santana (46 RBIs), 2B CÃ©sar HernÃ¡ndez (.264, 12 SB), 3B Maikel Franco (38 RBIs), RHP Aaron Nola (9-2, 2.58 ERA)
Season series vs. Nationals: 3-3
June 28: RHP Tanner Roark (3-8) vs. RHP Aaron Nola (9-2), 7:05 p.m., MASN2
June 29 RHP Erick Fedde (0-3) vs. RHP Nick Pivetta (4-6), 7:05 p.m., MASN2
June 30: RHP Jeremy Hellickson vs. RHP Vince Velasquez (5-8), 6:05 p.m., MASN2
July 1: LHP Gio Gonzalez (6-5) vs. RHP Jake Arrieta (5-6), 1:35 p.m., MASN2
Inside the Phillies:
Ex-Nationals star Jayson Werth decided to call it a career yesterday at 39 after 15 seasons in the major leagues. Werth will always be remembered in Philly for being a key member of the 2008 championship team. The Phillies snapped a three-game losing streak with a 3-0 win over the New York Yankees on Wednesday night. The Nationals have performed more poorly, being shut out in two interleague matchups against the Rays. At 42-36, Philadelphia enters the series one game ahead of Washington for second place in the National League East. The Phillies are 2 1/2 games behind the Braves for the top spot in the division and took two of three against the Nationals last weekend. The teams have split six head-to-head meetings in 2018, all at Nationals Park. Despite maintaining second place in one of the toughest divisions in the majors, the Phillies have struck out 747 times this season, third-most in the majors, behind only the Rangers and Padres.
Left fielder Rhys Hoskins became the fastest Phillie to reach 30 career homers in the fewest games played (119), beating Chuck Klein (132) and Ryan Howard (134). Hoskins' homer gave the Phillies their first lead in the three-game series vs. the Yankees, helping them avoid a sweep. Eleven of Hoskins' 12 homers this season have put the Phillies ahead. His 11 go-ahead homers are the second-most by a Phillies player before 07/01 since at least 1974. Third baseman Maikel Franco continues to hear his name come up in trade rumors. Franco's four-hit game vs. the Nationals on 06/23 propelled the Phillies to victory. Center fielder OdÃºbel Herrera homered in five straight games from June 17 to 22, but hasn't been as dominant since, going 2-for-20 with one extra-base hit and two RBIs. First baseman Carlos Santana's 25 walks in June are his most in a single calendar month for his career.
The Nationals will face ace right-hander Aaron Nola for the second time in four games on Thursday. Nola pitched six innings against the Nats last Saturday. The righty gave up two runs on four hits and three walks and struck out five in a 5-3 Phillies win. Nola has faced the Nats 11 times in his career, going 2-4 with a 2.35 ERA. Righty Nick Pivetta, Friday's starter, went five innings and allowed two runs on eight hits with two walks and seven strikeouts in a no-decision in his last start June 24 against the Nats on "Sunday Night Baseball." Right-hander Vince Velasquez, who starts Saturday, allowed two runs on three hits and four walks across six innings Monday to take the loss against the Bronx Bombers. He struck out seven. Jake Arrieta went 0-4 with a 6.66 ERA in five starts in June. He gave up 32 hits, including seven home runs in 25 2/3 innings. The veteran right-hander was the Phillies' big free agent signing late in the offseason.
Rookie right-hander Seranthony DomÃnguez struck out three over two solid innings June 27 against the Yankees to snag his fifth save of the 2018 season. In his last matchup with Washington on June 24, Dominguez got his first blown save of the season.