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So, we finally shift away from interleague play this week and into intra-division play with the Washington Nationals! Haha stupid Nationals...such a doormat team. This'll be an easy sweep.
*my aide whispers in my ear that the year is no longer 2009*
So the Nationals are really good now. In fact, after adding Max Scherzer to their already fully-weaponized moon-base of a rotation, most people think they'll not only run away with the division, but should be, along with the Dodgers, heavily favored to take the pennant, too. That's a heck of a jump from the lowly Natinals of old.
Sadly, as you perhaps are aware of (if not, hello! Welcome to The Good Phight and to Phillies fandom!), the Phillies are actually bad now. An Aaron Harang gem last week notwithstanding, the Phillies dropped two games in convincing fashion to the Red Sox and are well on their way to the terrible season that everyone predicted for them. Worse yet, we've come to the part in the rotation where most cartographers just write "HERE BE DRAGONS" so let's close our eyes and think of June 2nd while we look at our probables, huh?
Jerome Williams/Gio Gonzalez
Cole Hamels/Doug Fister
Jerome "Please Someone Sign Me" Williams was the scrapheap pickup the Phillies found last year that helped them cobble together enough innings to earn the vaunted MLB participation trophy. Today, he is the team's number 3 starter, and, one can only hope, the next marginal starting pitcher that the Dodgers will need come August. Even if he isn't that, Williams eats innings with a smile, and seems to be a good guy, so I'll happily root for competence. Oh also did you know that Gio Gonzalez was once a Phillie and was traded for Freddie Garcia? After he strikes out the side one time, go back and look it up -- it's true!
Cole Hamels! In his second start of the year! Hoora- oh wait this is the second bad one, right? Hamels is a notorious slow starter, shocked articles about his trade value dropping notwithstanding, and we can probably expect another rough go of it for him against the Nats. That said, the Nationals have a pretty crummy offense so far outside of Bryce Harper, and Cole won't have to face Anthony Rendon or Jayson "We Miss You Pal" Werth, so maybe he'll have some good results. Doug Fister -- aka Detroit's version of Cliff Lee to Seattle -- will be opposing him, and he's pretty good at stymieing offenses, so maybe skip the batting parts of the innings.
And hey, who needs an opposing pitcher when you've got the Sean O'Sullivan show! O'Sullivan can do anything folks, including and limited to beating out Jeff Manship (the man who is a ship) for a starting job. And folks, you ask, can he pitch?? ...no really, can he? Cause that would be great.
Here's hoping that the Phillies can be the Astros of 2010 to the Nationals this weekend, because even if it didn't matter in the long run, that would own.