Saturday, April 11, 2015

Hamels, Fister set for duel in Philadelphia

The Nationals are looking to stop a two-game losing streak as they face the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on Saturday night. Nationals right-hander Doug Fister will face Phillies ace Cole Hamels.
To Nationals fans, Hamels is best remembered for hitting Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper with a pitch on purpose on May 6, 2012.
With two outs in the first inning, Cole Hamels hit Harper with a pitch. Harper then advanced to third on a single by Jayson Werth. Harper was then able to pay Hamels back by stealing home while the pitcher tried to pick off Werth at first base.
Harper was the second player in Nationals history to steal home, and the first to do so on a straight steal. Ian Desmond stole home as part of a double steal on April 20, 2011, against the Cardinals.
Things to know about this game:
1.Fister is known to induce groundball outs. In fact, 50 percent of his outs came in the groundball variety. Fister also led the Nationals in wins with 16 last year, which ranks third on the Nationals' single-season list behind Gio Gonzalez (21 in 2012) and Jordan Zimmermann (19 in 2013).
2. Hamels, who lost in Monday's opener against the Red Sox, has had his share of success against the Nationals, going 15-8 with a 2.63 ERA against them. Harper has been consistent against the left-hander, going 8-for 25 with an RBI. At the same time, Dan Uggla has 22 strikeouts in 62 at-bats against Hamel.         
3. Fister will face the Phillies for the fifth time in his career. He is 2-2 with a 2.60 ERA against them. Fister has to be careful with Ben Revere, who is 8-for 25 (.320) and Grady Sizemore, who is 4-for-9 with a homer and three RBIs. 

4. Ryan Howard should return to the lineup Saturday after sitting Friday against Nationals left-hander Gio Gonzalez. Howard went 1-for-12 with one double and three strikeouts in three games this week against the Red Sox.

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