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Game 139 Open Thread: Phillies at Nationals

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More like Natennui.

Kevin Jairaj-US PRESSWIRE

How many times this year have you heard that the Atlanta Braves are "giving away" the NL East to the Washington Nationals? If you're anything like me, the answer to this question is "several hundred thousand times" and yet it never, weirdly, stops being true. The Braves remain seven games back of the Nationals in September, the month where seven game leads become infinity game leads because there's no way you can ever catch up, dum dum.

And while much of this division between the two has to do with the Braves failings (all the great pitching in the world is not likely to save you when you have the 22nd worst wRC+ in the league, just four steps about YOUR PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES), it isn't as if the Nationals are tremendously exciting themselves. While they have the sixth highest position player fWAR in baseball, much of that comes from the ever questionable defensive WAR and BSR calculations. In fact, their wRC+ is a fairly uninspiring 12th in baseball, as the team is being carried by their frankly insane pitching staff, who have the best fWAR in baseball by a full game, and who are rocking a 3.13 team ERA. That's bonkers.

But it's also very boring, and as you may remember from those halcyon days of 2010, nervewracking. The Nats 251/318/393 slashline as a team doesn't look so much different from the miserable Phillies' line of 245/306/369 when you squint even a little bit. And that makes this extraordinary team seem, well, fairly ordinary. Not that they aren't better than the Phillies -- they definitely are -- but they certainly aren't a lot more inspiring heading into the playoffs.

Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, the Phillies play them tonight. Neat right? So, uh, go bats.

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<h3>Today's Lineups</h3>

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<th align="left">PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES</th>

<th align="left">WASHINGTON NATIONALS</th>

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<tr><td class="td-last td-name">Ben Revere - CF</td><td class="td-first td-name">Denard Span - CF</td></tr><tr><td class="td-last td-name">Jimmy Rollins - SS</td><td class="td-first td-name">Anthony Rendon - 3B</td></tr><tr><td class="td-last td-name">Chase Utley - 2B</td><td class="td-first td-name">Jayson Werth - RF</td></tr><tr><td class="td-last td-name">Ryan Howard - 1B</td><td class="td-first td-name">Adam LaRoche - 1B</td></tr><tr><td class="td-last td-name">Marlon Byrd - RF</td><td class="td-first td-name">Ian Desmond - SS</td></tr><tr><td class="td-last td-name">Domonic Brown - LF</td><td class="td-first td-name">Bryce Harper - LF</td></tr><tr><td class="td-last td-name">Carlos Ruiz - C</td><td class="td-first td-name">Wilson Ramos - C</td></tr><tr><td class="td-last td-name">Maikel Franco - 3B</td><td class="td-first td-name">Asdrubal Cabrera - 2B</td></tr><tr><td class="td-last td-name">Jerome Williams - RHP</td><td class="td-first td-name">Stephen Strasburg - RHP</td></tr></tbody>

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