The Nationals traded for the ultimate Phillie-killer just in time for a four-game series this week at Citizens Bank Park.
On Sunday, Washington acquired lefty-mashing outfielder Scott Hairston from the Cubs for Single A right-hander Ivan Pineyro, per CSN Washington.
Hairston is a .307 career hitter against the Phillies with 12 homers and 25 RBIs in just 135 plate appearances. His .677 slugging percentage vs. the Phils is his highest against any team, and his 12 homers are second-most. (He has 14 bombs vs. the Giants, but he’s played 39 more games vs. San Fran.)
Hairston has made a career out of hitting left-handed pitching. He’s slugged .500 against them in his career, and that’s important considering the Phils will send out three consecutive southpaws in the first three games of their crucial series with the Nats. John Lannan starts Monday, Cole Hamels goes on Tuesday and Cliff Lee pitches Wednesday.
Hairston is 0 for 6 with three strikeouts vs. Lannan and just 6 for 28 against Lee, but he has destroyed Hamels and will almost certainly start Tuesday’s game. Hairston has gone 12 for 30 (.400) with five homers and five doubles vs. Hamels.
The Nats’ outfield is crowded at the moment with Denard Span in center, Bryce Harper in left and Jayson Werth in right. Hairston will be a capable bench bat, as well as a spot starter vs. lefties.
Harper is the Nats’ best hitter and rarely sits when healthy, and Werth hits lefties as well as Hairston, meaning he wouldn’t sit in favor of the Nats’ new addition. But Hairston can also play center field, where you may find him Tuesday. Span is heating up in July, but batting just .161 against lefties this season.