Phillies-Nationals: What you need to know

726924.jpg

Phillies-Nationals: What you need to know

Phillies (13-14) at Nationals (17-9)1:05 p.m. on CSN
The Phillies dropped the first game of their series with the Nationals, 4-3, after Wilson Ramos hit a bases-loaded single with two outs in the 11th inning on Friday night. Here's what you need to know for Saturday afternoon's matchup.

Starting pitchers
The Phils look to get back on track behind Vance Worley (2-1, 1.97 ERA). The right-hander has allowed one run or less in four of his last five outings.

In his last start, Worley tossed seven innings of one-run ball, but didn't factor in the decision of Monday's 6-4 win over the Cubs.

The Nationals send Gio Gonzalez (2-1, 1.82 ERA) to the hill on Saturday. The lefty allowed two runs over six innings in the Nationals' 2-0 loss to the Dodgers on Sunday.

Gonzalez has yet to surrender a run at home over 14 innings. He's allowed just six baserunners and has struck out 15 in two starts at "Natitude Park."

Head-to-head
The Phillies have posted a 79-50 record against the Nats since they relocated to Washington in 2005. However, the Nats currently have a six-game winning streak over the Phils.

Worley split two starts against Washington in 2011. Both his starts came at Citizens Bank Park, where he allowed five runs in 12 innings.

Prior to his loss on Sunday, Gonzalez struck out 21 batters over 20 innings in his previous three starts. He has never faced the Phillies.

Previous games
The Nationals came back from a two-run deficit with single runs in the sixth and eighth innings to push Friday's game into extra innings.

Kyle Kendrick went five innings and left with a 3-1 lead before the Phils' bullpen blew a late lead for the second time in the last three games. Kendrick allowed seven hits and walked two.

For Washington, Stephen Strasburg gave up three hits over six innings, but two of them were home runs. He struck out four Phillies, a season-low in six starts.

Who's hot
Manager Charlie Manuel, sort of. The Phils' skipper was ejected in the bottom of the first inning of Friday's loss after an unusual non-call.

Catcher Carlos Ruiz is red-hot for the Phils. He clubbed a solo shot to dead center in the fifth inning Friday. Ruiz is 13 for 28 from the plate in his last seven games. Outfielder Hunter Pence also homered off of Strasburg in the Phils' loss.
Lineup
1) Jimmy Rollins, SS
2) Placido Polanco, 3B
3) Shane Victorino, CF
4) Hunter Pence, RF
5) Carlos Ruiz, C
6) Ty Wigginton, 1B
7) John Mayberry, LF
8) Freddy Galvis, 2B
9) Vance Worley, SP
Sound off
How concerned are you with the Phillies' bullpen?

E-mail Tim Riday at triday@comcastsportsnet.com

Rob's Rants: Rhys Hoskins, Vinny Curry, solar eclipse and more

Rob's Rants: Rhys Hoskins, Vinny Curry, solar eclipse and more

Here's the latest edition of Rob's Rants in which CSNPhilly's Rob Ellis does just that about the hottest topics in Philly sports.

Why wait?
“It’s about damn time.” — LeBron James

Watching Rhys Hoskins hit five home runs in seven games on the Phillies’ recent West Coast trip left me torn. 

On one hand, it’s clear he has a very bright future. His power stroke’s looked every bit as good as it did the last two years in the minors, where he hit a combined 67 long balls. Not to mention, he’s also carried over his excellent strikeout-to-walk ratio in his short sampling of major-league pitching.

However, I’m also left asking the question of what took so long? Not only why it took until Aug. 10 for him to reach the big leagues, but also why wasn’t he used in left until his last week with the IronPigs? He’s a 24-year-old college player who had accomplished all he could in the minors. He should have been a Phillie sooner.

Tommy Joseph is in the midst of a freefall. Even before his slump, his numbers were just decent. Far from special. 

Hoskins’ promotion was abetted by Aaron Altherr’s injury. Still, prior to Altherr missing time, you could have gotten Hoskins enough starts between first and the outfield to make it worth having him up in the big leagues. 

Also, now that J.P. Crawford is playing some third at Lehigh Valley, it makes you wonder why he, Hoskins and Scott Kingery for that matter, didn’t get work at other positions much sooner.

Curry up, Vinny
Vinny Curry’s 2017 preseason thus far has mirrored his 2016 regular season. In other words, he’s been a ghost.  

Zero tackles, zero sacks, zero impact. 

The 29-year-old signed a five-year, $47 million deal, $23 million of which was guaranteed prior to the 2016 season. 

Curry had just 2½ sacks and 26 tackles last year. The previous season, he had 3½ sacks and 12 tackles. He played in all 32 games those seasons. 

Curry’s deal could go down as one of the worst — if not the worst — in team history. 

The excuse last year was he played hurt. In 2015, he was playing in a 3-4 scheme that did not fit his skill set as a rushing end. Interestingly, Curry played in the same Billy Davis-led defense in 2014 and totaled nine sacks.

Connor Barwin is now gone. Derek Barnett is a 21-year-old rookie. The job is Curry’s to lose and he’s doing his best to do so. 

Money should not be a factor in terms of playing time. Rookie or not, Barnett has far outplayed Curry and it should reflect in snaps if the veteran does not get his act together in the final two preseason games.         

In totality
If I never hear the word “totality” again, I will depart this Earth a happy man. 

If you watched or listened to any of the coverage leading up to Monday’s solar eclipse, you heard the word, ad nauseam. 

I’m guilty of existing too much in my own sports bubble and not appreciating things outside of those boundaries. So while it didn’t do much for me, I understand and appreciate the solar eclipse was a once-in-a-lifetime or every-38-year thing.

However, an anchor on The Weather Channel took things to a different orbit when she was brought to tears discussing the eclipse. I wish I could have concealed my eyes and ears the way the moon obscured the sun at 2:44 p.m. when she began to get misty.     

G-O-A-T
Jack Regenye’s catch in the championship game of the Junior League World Series (ages 13-15) may be the greatest catch ever. Regenye, the centerfielder for the Kennett-Unionville squad, pulled off the rare combo of fearlessness, athleticism and timing in spectacular fashion. 

The fact that Kennett lost, 12-1, to Chinese Taipei will go down as simply a footnote. Regenye should never pay for a soda or chicken fingers again in the Kennett-Unionville area.   

Best of MLB: Indians get walk-off win over Red Sox on error

uspresswire-indians-team-celebrate.jpg
USA Today Images

Best of MLB: Indians get walk-off win over Red Sox on error

CLEVELAND -- Brandon Guyer scored when first baseman Brock Holt threw away Roberto Perez's bunt in the 10th inning, lifting the Cleveland Indians over the Boston Red Sox 5-4 on Monday night in a matchup of first-place teams.

After Guyer's leadoff double against Brandon Workman (0-1), Holt fielded the bunted ball and tried to throw out Guyer at third. Guyer slid into the bag as the throw skipped past third baseman Rafael Devers, then got to his feet and raced across home plate. Teammates ran onto the field and doused Perez with water and white powder.

Perez also had a three-run homer in the second inning.

Cody Allen (1-6) allowed Christian Vazquez's leadoff single in the 10th, but retired the next three hitters. The inning ended when shortstop Francisco Lindor ran down Mookie Betts' popup in center field with his back to home plate.

Cleveland relief ace Andrew Miller left in the seventh inning after aggravating the patellar tendinitis in his right knee. Miller recently returned after over two weeks on the disabled list with the knee injury (see full recap).  

Albers gives Mariners win over former team
ATLANTA -- Andrew Albers worked into the sixth inning for his second straight win since coming up from the minors, leading the Seattle Mariners to a 6-5 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Monday night.

Albers (2-0) also had the first hit and RBI of his career -- in his first big league at-bat.

The 31-year-old left-hander beat his former organization, having spent most of the season at the Braves' Triple-A club. He went 12-3 but never got a call to the big leagues.

Instead, Albers was dealt to the Mariners for cash on Aug. 11. He was called up by Seattle to make a start four days later, working six strong innings in a 3-1 win over Baltimore.

Now, after going just over four years between major league victories, Albers has two wins in less than a week.

Mike Foltynewicz (10-9) has lost four of his last five starts for Atlanta (see full recap).

Pollock’s 2-run blast lifts D-backs over Mets
NEW YORK -- A.J. Pollock hit a two-run homer in the 10th inning and the Arizona Diamondbacks snapped a three-game skid with a 3-2 victory over the New York Mets on Monday night.

J.D. Martinez had an RBI single and left fielder David Peralta threw out the potential go-ahead run at the plate for the Diamondbacks, who began the day with a 2 1/2-game lead over Milwaukee for the second NL wild card. They are 4-0 against the Mets this season and have won nine of 10 meetings over the last two years.

Pinch-hitter Gregor Blanco walked to start the 10th. One out later, Pollock sent a 94 mph fastball from Eric Goeddel (0-1) over the center-field fence to put the Diamondbacks back in front after they squandered a 1-0 lead in the seventh.

Fernando Rodney gave up a leadoff homer to Michael Conforto before getting three outs for his 28th save in 33 tries.

Jimmie Sherfy (1-0) pitched a perfect ninth for his first major league win (see full recap)