It’s Natitude Time
It’s finally here: Phillies vs. Nationals in DC. I can’t recall the last time I’ve looked forward to a series before September as much as this one. Thank the Nationals for that. They started their “Take Back the Park” campaign over the winter, which was designed to keep Phillies fans from Nationals Park. (Can’t wait to see the turnout and balance of fans.) Davey Johnson called his rotation more talented than the Phillies rotation, and so far they have outpitched the Phillies. (Nationals starters have a 2.03 ERA, while Phillies starters have a 2.97 ERA.) Brad Lidge also called the Nationals team the most talented he had ever played on.
And, of course, the Nationals have Stephen Strasburg and Harper.
But really the most important thing is the team making all the noise is in first place in the National League East, holding a 3 1/2 game lead over the Phillies.
The Phillies have won 6 of their last 9 games, and there is evidence their bats are coming alive. They rank third in the National League in that span, averaging 5.44 runs per game. On the other hand, the Nationals are tied for 13th, averaging 2.67 runs per game. But the Phillies face three pitchers this weekend, none of which have an ERA higher than 1.89.
I guess whenever Blanton has a game like yesterday’s 3-0 victory over Atlanta you tend to think back to his most memorable performance: Game 4 of the 2008 World Series.
Blanton’s game was 2 hours, 2 minutes. That’s fast, but it wasn’t as a Phillies-Padres game in 1977. Interesting chart in this story: the Phillies have been involved in four the six fastest games over the past 50 years.
Jim Salisbury and I co-authored the book The Rotation, which is now available. Check it out here! Here are our upcoming book signings:
- May 10: Tredyfrrin Public Library in Stafford, PA, 7:30 p.m.
- June 2: Citizens Bank Park, 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.