Now though, things change. Any loss here is a game picked up by a direct competitor. Lose here and you are definitely losing ground. Up first are the Phillies, who squeaked back over .500 only to get knocked around by the Red Sox the last two games. They are at .500 right now, 3.5 games back of the Nats. The Nats don't get as lucky as last time, this time it's Kendrick, Halladay, and Hamels. Given the Phillies offensive woes, though, this is the series to win on the road.
Two goals - (1) stay close to the Braves (1.5 games up) so the weekend series (where they likely catch both Delgado and Minor) can get them back to first (2) stay up in the WC (2.0 up on the Marlins/Mets).
- The Nats have found some power. They've hit 21 homers in the past 13 games, after hitting only 18 in their first 28.
- Morse wants to come back a week earlier than currently scheduled. I wouldn't expect it (the Nats would be smart to work him in slowly as only a DH - they can't afford to lose him for any more time this year) but they do desperately need his bat. That last OF spot is killing the Nats. In their last 43 at bats Bernadina/Nady/Ankiel /Moore have a total of 5 hits. Whatever you think of Morse - he's better than that.
- Detwiler has not looked good the last couple times out and hasn't been great since start #3. He's given the Nats every excuse to switch him out with Wang. One more bad start and he could be done. Worse yet for Detwiler he misses the Phillies B-team offense and catches the Braves.
- Despite a bump or two, the bullpen still very very good. Even Drew Storen's professional seat warmer Ryan Perry looked ok.