Jul 18, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher A.J. Burnett (34) throws a pitch against the Atlanta Braves in the second inning at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Phillies hoping to take series tonight against Nats in D.C.

The Philadelphia Phillies took the second game of the series last night behind a stellar outing from Roberto Hernandez. Hernandez pitched 8 innings of 1-run ball and Marlon Byrd provided the deciding go-ahead blast with an opposite field shot to right, giving Roberto his 6th win of the year and moving Doug Fister to 10-7.

On Saturday night the Phillies will face Jordan Zimmerman, who is 6-5 on the season with a 3.17 ERA. The last time Zimmerman faced the Phillies was on July 11th, when he left injured after 4 innings having given up 4 runs, and A.J. Burnett pitched well to outduel his counterpart. Through July, Jordan Zimmerman pitched 7 strong innings against the Marlin in which he retired 14 of the first 15 batters he faced, and exited having given up 2 runs on 4 hits, but the Nats went on to lose the game 7-6 as Soriano blew a save.

Cody Asche will be hoping to continue his form after a good night at the plate on Friday night. Asche went 2-for-3 with a couple of crucial hits, including an RBI and a lead-off single which nearly provided the go-ahead run before he was gunned down by a strong Jayson Werth throw. Through the month of July, Cody hit .240 with 3 homers, 10 RBIs and a .642 OPS in 96 at-bats.

After hitting the game winning shot, a solo bomb to opposite field off Doug Fister for his 21st of the year, Marlon Byrd will be looking to continue his offensive production. He finished the month of July having hit .282 with 5 homers and 14 RBIs through 110 at-bats. Byrd has hit well against all pitchers this year, with his average against righties just 3 points lower at .268 than his season mark of .271, and 14 of his 21 homers coming of RHPs.

The Phillies will send A.J. Burnett to the mound who will be hoping to recover from his last start against the Mets where he was roughed up for 7 runs in 5 innings on 8 hits, ruining his trade value perhaps. Before that, Burnett threw 8 scoreless against the Giants on July 23rd, so he will be trying to return to that kind of form. A.J. is 3-5 in his last 10 starts, with a 3.86 ERA and 56 strikeouts through 70 innings pitched.

The Nationals are currently 10.5 games ahead of the Phillies in first place in the NL East, with the Braves failing to capitalise on the Nats 2 game losing streak. Philadelphia is 6-4 in their last 10 games, while Washington is 4-6.


Starting Lineups 8/2:

Phillies

1. Revere 2. Rollins 3. Utley 4. Howard 5. Byrd 6. Sizemore 7. Ruiz 8. Asche 9. Burnett

Nationals

1. Span 2. Rendon 3. Werth 4. LaRoche 5. Desmond 6. Harper 7. Cabrera 8. Ramos 9. Zimmerman

Tags: A.J. Burnett Philadelphia Phillies

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