MLB Baseball

1
Final 1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
Washington0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 141
Philadelphia0 0 3 0 0 0 1 0 x 460
4
  W: J. Thompson (3-2)   L: G. González (15-8)   S: H. Neris (25)
4:05 PM PT5:05 PM MT6:05 PM CT7:05 PM ET19:05 ET23:05 GMT7:05 4:05 PM MST6:05 PM EST6:35 PM VEN3:05 UAE (+1)6:05 PM CT, September 26, 2017
Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania  Attendance: 16,437

Nationals' Harper might return to face Phillies

According to STATS
According to STATS

Washington Nationals at Philadelphia Phillies

  1. The Nationals are 10-6 (.625) against the Phillies this season, the third straight season Washington has won at least 10 games against Philly (12 in 2015 and a franchise record 14 in 2016).
  2. Washington has won each of its first two series of this road trip (at Atlanta and at the Mets). The Nationals have won 16 series on the road this season, which is most in the NL and tied for most since moving to DC (also 2012 and 2014).
  3. Philadelphia ended August with a 50-83 (.376) record, worst in the NL, but after a 2-0 win at Atlanta Sunday, the Phillies own a winning record in September (12-11, .522 -- tied for sixth best in the NL).
  4. Maikel Franco leads the Phillies with 70 RBI this season, his second straight year leading the squad in RBI. The only other third basemen in team history to lead the team in RBI multiple seasons are Dick Allen (two), Scott Rolen (three) and Mike Schmidt (10).
  5. Aaron Nola has struck out 26.2 percent of batters faced this season, which is the third-highest single-season mark in franchise history behind Curt Schilling in 1997 (31.6) and 1998 (27.5; among those qualified for the ERA title).
  6. In three games on the road, A.J. Cole owns a 3.78 ERA, which is over a full run lower than his ERA at home (4.85) despite similar opponent batting averages (.274 on the road, .277 at home).
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 9/25/2017 thru 9/27/2017

PHILADELPHIA -- Monday was supposed to be the day Washington Nationals star Bryce Harper would make his return to the lineup.

The 24-year-old has been out of the lineup since Aug. 12 with a bone bruise in his left knee and a left calf strain.

However, flu symptoms delayed the outfielder's return for at least another day.

So now it is possible Tuesday is the day, when Washington (95-61) plays the second game of a three-game series against the Philadelphia Phillies (62-95) at Citizens Bank Park.

The Nationals improved to 26-16 with Harper out of the lineup after a 3-1 win over Philadelphia on Monday night.

"You hate to waste these days, but you also hate to push him out there when he's not ready," Nationals manager Dusty Baker said.

Harper, once a National League MVP candidate who owns a .326 batting average with 29 home runs and 87 RBIs, is doing everything he can to get ready.

"He was actually here before I got here, trying to get well," Baker said before the game Monday. "You know Bryce, he is champing at the bit to play. So it's just another minor setback.

"This is, in essence, spring training for him. I just think it's a miracle that we're even talking about it."

The Nationals, who need three wins in their final six games to tie the franchise's single-season record, send Gio Gonzalez (15-7, 2.68 ERA) to the mound Tuesday in his final postseason tune-up. The left-hander will go up against Phillies right-hander Jake Thompson (2-2, 4.14 ERA).

Gonzalez is looking to cap off a big turnaround campaign in 2017 with another win. The former Phillies farmhand has had good career success against Philadelphia, owning a 10-6 record in 22 starts, compiling a 2.60 ERA in 138 2/3 innings. That includes two no-decisions against the Phillies in 2017. In those two starts, Gonzalez allowed a combined three earned runs in 14 innings.

Thompson has not had success facing Washington in his young career. The 23-year-old holds an 0-2 record and a 4.87 ERA vs. the Nationals in 20 1/3 innings. On Sept. 8, in an 11-10 Phillies loss at Washington, Thompson was blasted for seven runs (five earned) in five innings.

The righty, however, has been dominant in his past two outings. Thompson threw 5 1/3 scoreless innings in a Sept. 14 win over the Miami Marlins, then followed up with a brilliant performance against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday. He went five innings and allowed just one run on three hits in a no-decision during a 7-5 Philadelphia victory.

Another like those would put the Phillies in a good spot. But that also depends which Philadelphia offense shows up. Energized by an influx of youth, the Phillies have been a much different team in the second half. Still, they barely provided a punch against Washington's A.J. Cole on Monday night.

The Phillies have scored just seven runs in their past four games.

"Our bats have gone silent for a few days now," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said.

Updated September 26, 2017

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