National League Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, August 25th
(All times Eastern)
Washington Nationals (77-48) at Philadelphia Phillies (59-67), 7:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Washington - Gio Gonzalez (16-6, 3.23)
Philadelphia - Roy Halladay (7-7, 3.95)
(Sports Network) - Hoping to avoid their longest losing streak in over a
month, the Washington Nationals turn to 16-game winner Gio Gonzalez on
Saturday night as they try to even their three-game series with the
Gonzalez's 16-6 mark gives him the most wins for a Nationals pitcher since the
club's relocation from Montreal in 2005. He has posted a 3.23 earned run
average over his 25 starts and won his third straight outing on Sunday against
the New York Mets.
The left-hander had his shortest outing in six starts, allowing a run over 5
2/3 innings and 110 pitches, but he is still 4-1 in that span.
"This is definitely a team accomplishment," Gonzalez said of his Nats' record
16th win. "I couldn't have done this without them. The bullpen has been our
biggest key, and I said it since the beginning: These guys come and clean up
our mess. They are constantly working hard for us."
Gonzalez, 26, held the Phillies scoreless over six innings of three-hit ball
with nine strikeouts in Philadelphia on May 21, his second win in as many
career starts against the club.
It wouldn't be surprising to see Phillies' ace Roy Halladay have 16 wins at
this point of the season, but the righty brings just a 7-7 mark into this
start with a 3.95 ERA over 18 starts, having spent time on the disabled list
Halladay has won three of his last four outings, going at least seven innings
each time, and after allowing four runs over the first three games of that
span, he was touched for five runs on Monday versus the Cincinnati Reds over
seven innings. The righty still picked up a 12-5 win.
Though the 35-year-old lost his only meeting with the Nats this season,
yielding five runs over six innings, he is 11-2 against them in his career
with a 2.55 ERA.
Philadelphia beat Washington for the fourth time in the last five meetings on
Friday, recording a 4-2 triumph and handing the Nationals their second
straight defeat. The NL East leaders haven't dropped three in a row since July
Kyle Kendrick stretched his scoreless-innings streak to 21 straight before
running into trouble in the seventh. He was eventually charged with two runs
in the winning start, while Jimmy Rollins had a key two-run single for the
"When you get focused on what you're doing and you apply yourself and you stay
at it, good things can happen to you," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said of
his starter. "Kendrick's always been capable of pitching good games."
Jonathan Papelbon worked around a leadoff single in the ninth to nail down his
28th save of the season and give Philadelphia its fifth win in seven games.
Edwin Jackson struck out eight over six strong frames, but was tagged with the
loss after giving up three runs on seven hits and two walks.
Tyler Moore accounted for the Nats' offense with a pinch-hit, two-run homer in
the seventh, while slugging outfielder Michael Morse was forced to exit the
game with a right hand contusion after getting hit by a pitch in the first
inning. He is unlikely to play tonight.
Washington still leads the division by 6 1/2 games over the Atlanta Braves.
08/25 10:33:48 ET
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