Haren is 4-9 with a 6.15 ERA this season. He's allowed 19 homers in 82 innings, which is the highest rate of longballs in the majors. Opponents are hitting .370 with 15 bombs against his sinker and cutter, and righties are 15-for-30 off the sinker. His splitter is still an out-pitch, but the other two offerings are often flat. The Phils have already beaten the Nats twice this season in Haren's starts.
Lannan has been disappointing this season -- he's missed 10 starts and made just three quality starts in seven tries -- but he has a chance to bounce back in the second half. Beating his former team would be quite helpful. The only current Nat with decent numbers against Lannan is Jayson Werth, who is 9-for-27 off him with two doubles and four homers.
The Nats finally have a healthy offense. Bryce Harper, Ryan Zimmerman, Werth and Wilson Ramos have all missed time, but with everyone playing the Nats' lineup takes on a different look. Werth and Ian Desmond have been flip-flopping between second and sixth, and both are capable of driving in runs after fifth batter Adam LaRoche.
The reason this week is crucial is that anything less than a .500 finish will probably result in the Phillies selling. Through 89 games they've been over .500 just once, and at a certain point you need to see results, regardless of the reasons and excuses this season has been disappointing. If the Phils can't translate a hot offense into actual wins, Ruben Amaro will have no choice but to deal Michael Young, Carlos Ruiz, and maybe Jonathan Papelbon and Chase Utley.
-Ben Revere is up to .295 on the season. He's hit .337 since May 1, which is sixth-best in the NL and tops among all NL centerfielders. Only Mike Trout has been better, though not all of his time has been spent in center.
-The three outfielders -- Revere, Delmon Young and Domonic Brown -- have hit .375 (27-72) in July with 12 RBI in six games.
-The Phillies have the best divisional record of any NL East team, at 21-13. They're 6-6 vs. the Nationals and Braves, and 15-7 against the Mets and Marlins.
-Chase Utley has hits in 14 of his last 15 games. He's batting .328/.388/.656 over that span with 11 extra-base hits and 15 runs. He leads all NL second basemen this season with a .513 slugging percentage.
Howard has torn meniscus
Ryan Howard has a meniscus tear in his left knee that will require surgery. The recovery timetable is 6-8 weeks.
1) Ben Revere, CF
2) Jimmy Rollins, SS
3) Chase Utley, 2B
4) Domonic Brown, LF
5) Michael Young, 3B
6) Delmon Young, RF
7) Darin Ruf, 1B
8) Carlos Ruiz, C
9) John Lannan, P