Philadelphia (76-63) at Washington (53-86)

Cloudy Currently: Washington, DC
Temp: 44° F
  • Game info: 7:10 pm EDT Wed Sep 3, 2008
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Jimmy Rollins is finally putting together some productive at-bats against the Washington Nationals. This is an ideal time for the Philadelphia Phillies star to be heating up.

With a series against the NL East leaders approaching, Rollins and the Phillies seek a second straight win against the division’s worst team when they conclude a three-game set with the Nationals on Wednesday night.

Rollins went 2-for-3 and drove in two runs to lead Philadelphia (76-63) to a 4-0 win over Washington (53-86) on Tuesday night, ending the Nationals’ seven-game winning streak. Rollins, who has three RBIs in his last two games, entered this series batting .196 (10-for-51) in his previous 12 contests against the Nationals.

Rollins is batting .438 (7-for-16) over his last four games overall, a good sign for Philadelphia with a three-game series against the NL East-leading New York Mets beginning Friday night. The veteran shortstop hit .382 as the Phillies went 7-0 against the Mets last August and September, helping them win the NL East title.

Rollins has 10 home runs for a Phillies team that is second in the majors with 183.

“It’s definitely a tough lineup,” Nationals starter John Lannan said. “That’s why they’re battling for first place with the Mets right now. They’re tough from top to bottom. You don’t really get any breaks.”

Before its showdown with New York, which leads the East by two games, Philadelphia will try not to overlook a Nationals team that entered Tuesday with the longest active win streak in the majors.

The Phillies ended that run with a strong outing from Cole Hamels, and they will now hand the ball to Joe Blanton (6-12, 4.69 ERA). The right-hander has not received a decision over his last two starts despite posting a 2.31 ERA.

Blanton allowed two runs and two hits while walking a season-high five in 5 2-3 innings as Philadelphia lost 3-2 to the Chicago Cubs on Friday night.

He is 0-1 with a 6.55 ERA in two career starts against Washington.

The Nationals will counter with Odalis Perez (6-10, 4.14), who is 3-2 with a 3.50 ERA in his last six starts. The left-hander allowed three runs - two earned - and seven hits in 6 1-3 innings to earn a win as Washington beat Atlanta 7-3 on Friday night.

Perez is 2-5 with a 2.57 ERA in 13 home starts, getting an average of 3.4 runs of support. Against the Phillies, Perez is 6-3 with a 2.70 ERA in nine starts and five relief appearances.

After getting shut out for the 20th time this season, Washington will try to provide some offensive support for Perez. The Nationals have been shut out more than any other major league team.

Washington expects to have shortstop Cristian Guzman back in the lineup after giving him a day off. Guzman was named co-NL Player of the Week on Tuesday, batting .552 and hitting for the cycle Thursday against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

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Starting Pitchers

J. Blanton Pit vs. O. Perez Was
9-12 Record 7-12
4.69 ERA 4.34
111 K 119
66 BB 55
1.40 WHIP 1.48


Wednesday, Sep 3