Completely biased Philadelphia Phillies vs. Washington Nationals series preview
By Mike Lacy
Anthony Rendon. Image Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports
I was going to do a standard preview of the Phillies series against the Nationals; you know, one in which I try to remain unbiased and take an even-handed approach to the series.
But the Phillies are coming in hot, and that doesn’t happen all that often. So I’m going to take advantage of this hot streak and make this preview super-biased. I’m going to explain exactly why the Nationals are unworthy of being on the same field as the Phillies, and why the Phils will undoubtedly earn their second straight series sweep.
The last time they met
Look out, Nationals! Here comes Ken Giles! Image Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
The Phillies were obviously too intimidated by all the “Natitude” that was on display at Nationals Park, and lost all three games of the series. The Phillies are a resilient bunch, but asking them to overcome that much Natitude? That’s a tall order for even the best teams.
The real reason the Phillies lost those games is because Ken Giles didn’t pitch in any of them. And we all know that Ken Giles = instant victory.
What’s new with the Nationals?
They’re in first place of the National League East, but that doesn’t say all that much. I mean, SOMEBODY’S got to win this mediocre-at-best division. The Nationals were the clear favorites before the season, so the fact that they haven’t run away with things indicates just how poor they are.
Reason to hate the Nationals
Because if they lose, it makes F.P. Santangelo unhappy. And anything that makes Santangelo unhappy is a very good thing in my book.
Nationals player who isn’t entirely horrible
Anthony Rendon has been playing pretty well at third base. That’s a lucky break for the Nationals, because their former third baseman Ryan Zimmerman was slowly deteriorating to the point that people had to hold their breath every time a ball was hit to him.
Rendon has already hit 13 home runs, which is a pretty solid total for a second year player. Sounds like somebody’s due to start regressing this weekend.
Nationals player who is horrible
Kevin Frandsen: Not that good. Image Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Many Phillies fans are convinced that their team’s bench is abnormally bad. But perhaps they need to look at the type of players who inhabit other team’s benches.
Remember how awesome Kevin “Dmyass” Frandsen was when he was on the Phillies? Well now he’s on the Nats!
I suppose he was a decent enough pinch hitter. But he couldn’t play the field especially well, and quickly became exposed when he was forced to play too much.
Due to the strength of the Nationals’ lineup, Frandsen shouldn’t have to play that much, but he’s definitely not thriving in a limited role. His on base percentage is a low .297 and he’s only hit one home run.
Reasons why the Phillies will win
Obviously, the Phillies are going to dominate. Here are the main reasons why:
Grady Sizemore is here. GAME OVER. Image Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
1. The Phillies will get to face Tanner Roark. The last time Roark faced the Phillies, he gave up seven runs. He’s probably been having nightmares about this game, and it wouldn’t shock me to see him miss the start with a phantom injury.
2. The Nationals will likely have to face Ken Giles for the first time. And as I mentioned before, Ken Giles is awesome! With no real point of reference, the Nats hitters are sure to be overmatched.
3. Grady Sizemore will likely make his Phillies debut. That’s right, Nats; THE Grady Sizemore. You know, the multiple-time All-Star? Yeah, he’s a Phillie now and he’s ready to start mashing baseballs again. Check and mate.
Reason why the Nationals might win
I suppose it’s possible that the Nats might find a way to pull out one of the games. Here are some reasons why they might avoid a sweep:
Hope that elbow holds up this time, Stephen. Image Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
1. Stephen Strasburg has done pretty well against the Phillies in his career. Except, of course, for that time when he blew out his elbow. But aside from that potentially career-threatening injury, it’s been all sunshine and dominance.
2. Jayson Werth loves to hit against the Phillies. I’m not sure why he has such a chip on his shoulder. Sure, Phillies fans may abuse him, but what’s a little hostile heckling among old friends?
3. In the past, the Nationals seemed a bit out of sorts when travelling to Citizens Bank Park and being forced to play in a full stadium. But now that the Phillies are struggling to draw fans, the Nats should feel right at home.
Based on the evidence provided, only an insane person would conclude that the Phillies will do anything but sweep this series.