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Game Thread 5/3: Nationals at Phillies

Our last look at the NL East for a while.

San Diego Padres v Washington Nationals Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images

After an early-season schedule that seemed to feature nothing but games against NL East foes, the Phillies wrap up their last series against a division opponent this weekend when they welcome the Washington Nationals to Citizens Bank Park tonight.

After Sunday’s series finale, the Phils will not play another NL East squad until June 14, in Atlanta against the Braves. And they won’t see the Nats again until the following series, when they start a four-gamer in the District on June 17.

The Phils will be facing Jeremy Hellickson tonight, who twirled a six-inning gem against them on April 10, striking out six, walking four and giving up three hits and no runs allowed in an eventual 15-1 blowout. Here’s who the Phils will be throwing at him tonight.

Opposing the Nats will be Jerad Eickhoff, who is off to a tremendous start. He’s appeared in three games, two of them starts, and has a 2.12 ERA and 20 strikeouts in 17.0 innings pitched. He’ll face a Nats lineup that will be without its two biggest stars — Anthony Rendon and Juan Soto.

Rendon is on the IL with an elbow injury and will miss the entire series, and Soto is missing his third game in a row with back spasms.

Now’s the time to take advantage and bury the Nats, who come into play 13-17, 4 games behind the 17-13 Phillies in the NL East.