The three-game sweep in Citizens Bank Park last week left the Washington Nationals 8-8 against their NL East rivals from Philadelphia so far this season with the last three games of the season series with the Phillies to be played this weekend in the nation's capital.
The Nats dropped two of three on the road in CBP in the first week of May to start the divisional rivalry with the Phillies, then swept the first three-game set in Nationals Park from June 3-5.
The Nationals took two of three in Philadelphia in June to improve to 6-3 after the first nine games.
The NL East rivals split a four-game set in D.C. in the first week of August, 8-5, before the Nats' trip to Philly last week which saw them drop three straight.
Nationals' manager Matt Williams was asked in an MLB Network Radio this morning how he was approaching this weekend's series after dropping all three games to the Phillies last week.
"They're playing good," Williams said. "They were in Atlanta, they played well against the Braves. They certainly beat us the last time they played us. They're getting good starting pitching. Their bullpen has been fantastic and offensively, they're putting things together.
"So the tests keep coming. Just because the Phillies aren't where they want to be record-wise doesn't mean that they can't beat you. And so they're playing well, they've got a bunch of veteran guys over there that know what they're doing. And they played well against us, so it's a test for us on every day, but this series is going to be another one."
The Phillies took two of three from the Braves this week, leaving them 7-3 in their last ten.
Stephen Strasburg starts for the Nationals tonight in the first game of the three-game set in D.C.
Last time out against the Phillies, the 26-year-old right-hander threw seven scoreless innings, striking out 10 and giving up just three hits and one walk in a 4-0 win in Nationals Park.
On the year, Strasburg is (2-0) in four starts against the Phillies with a 1.40 ERA, four walks (1.40 BB/9) and 35 Ks (12.27 K/9) in 25 ⅔ IP over which he's held Philadelphia's hitters to a combined .235/.265/.327 line.
At home in the nation's capital this season, Strasburg is (8-2) in 15 starts and 98 IP over which he's walked 17 (1.56 BB/9) and struck out 120 batters (11.02 K/9).
Strasburg's fifth start against the Phillies this season starts at 7:05 PM EDT.
• Here's Washington's lineup for the series opener against Philadelphia:
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