After a slow, plodding, marathon 9-6 loss at Citizens Bank Park Tuesday night, the Phillies conclude their three-game series with the Nationals behind Roy Halladay.
Halladay (3-4, 7.94) makes his third start back from shoulder surgery. He pitched very well in his return vs. Arizona, allowing two runs on four hits over six innings, but struggled on a hot day at Wrigley Field last Friday, serving up two homers and five runs in five innings.
Halladay's sinker has averaged 88 mph since his return, and his cutter has averaged 86.5 mph.
But it hasn't been those pitches he's been getting hurt on. Opponents are 6-for-12 with two doubles and a homer against his changeup.
Going for the Nationals is Jordan Zimmermann, who is 15-8 with a 3.33 ERA in 178.1 innings. Zimmermann has winded down since the All-Star break, posting a 5.48 ERA with an opponents' batting average more than 60 points higher than it was in the first half.
It will again be interesting to see who cracks the Phillies' lineup Wednesday. Tuesday's batting order was one of the worst in recent memory, with Cesar Hernandez, Freddy Galvis, Kevin Frandsen, John Mayberry and Michael Martinez all starting.
Will Cameron Rupp be next? Probably not on Wednesday, as Halladay will want to pitch to Carlos Ruiz for comfort's sake.
The Phils are 7-8 this season vs. Washington, 29-27 against the NL East and 36-32 at home.
1) Cesar Hernandez, CF
2) Jimmy Rollins, SS (4 for 30 last 10 games with eight walks)
3) Chase Utley, 2B
4) Carlos Ruiz, C
5) Darin Ruf, 1B (3 for last 25 with 11 strikeouts)
6) Cody Asche, 3B
7) John Mayberry, LF (fifth start this year in LF)
8) Roger Bernadina, RF
9) Roy Halladay, P