The Phillies need a win tonight to put themselves in position to take this series and leave town on a positive note.
The is a crucial game, but you have to feel confident about the home-team’s chances. The Phils send a hot pitcher to the mound in the form of Cole Hamels (5-6, 4.50 ERA), looking to milk all the wins from this homestand as they can before they take to the road.
Hamels is coming off the best outing of his career, allowing just four hits in a career-high eight innings in Monday's shutout win over the Mets. Over his last four starts, Hamels is 3-1 with a 1.59 ERA, using three pitches to break down some of the league's best hitters. Ramon Ortiz (9-10, 4.88) goes for the opposition, looking to rebound following a seven-run drubbing at the hands of Atlanta.
Last night, Brett Myers, the man supposed to deliver the goods in meaningful August games, never gave them a chance, allowing the Nationals to go up 6-0 before the Phils could respond. It was the Phils second straight loss following a juggernaut start to the Mets series.
Luckily, the Phils remain 2 1/2 games behind Cincinnati following their loss to Pittsburgh. However, they can’t count on another Bucco favor tonight, and need to start taking advantage of these games against the Nationals. Ortiz is a pitcher they must punish, and Hamels must continue dealing.