Since their last encounter with the Philadelphia
Nikita Kucherov Jersey , the Washington Nationals did not do much
In fact, they did not score.
After going scoreless for two games with the Tampa Bay Rays, the Nationals
hope to get their offense going Thursday night in the opener of a four-game
series against the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.
The Nationals rallied late to beat the Phillies on Sunday night but then
mustered five hits and struck out 23 times in Tampa Bay. After the low output,
Washington heads into Philadelphia with nine losses in 12 games and hopes to be
refreshed following a day off on Wednesday.
“We’re in a little bit of a funk right now,” Washington manager Dave Martinez
told reporters following Tuesday’s 1-0 loss. “This day off couldn’t come soon
enough. We’ve had a rough go with our schedule here the last few days, so a
little break will do the boys right.”
It is not about to get easier for the Nationals, though.
They will face Phillies ace Aaron Nola for the second time in four games on
Thursday night. Right-hander Tanner Roark will be on the mound for Washington,
making his second consecutive start against Philadelphia.
Nola (9-2, 2.58 ERA), well on his way to his first All-Star appearance,
pitched six strong innings against the Nationals last Saturday. The righty gave
up two runs on four hits and three walks and struck out five in a 5-3 Phillies
Steven Stamkos Jersey , 26, has pitched at least six innings in 13 of his
16 starts this season and has allowed two earned runs or less in 12 of those
games. His 1.016 WHIP ranked fifth in the National League as of Wednesday.
Nola has faced the Nationals 11 times in his career — the most of any
opponent for the fourth-year major leaguer. He is 2-4 with a 4.35 ERA and 70
strikeouts in 60 innings in those starts.
Roark (3-8, 4.27) also has plenty of experience against the Phillies. He is
6-8 with a 4.34 ERA in 19 career games against the Nationals’ divisional rival.
But Roark’s last outing against Philadelphia did not go well.
The 31-year-old had seven strikeouts, but he gave up six runs on seven hits
and four walks last Friday in a 12-2 defeat. Before the loss to the Phillies,
Roark gave up four runs on eight hits in four innings against the Toronto Blue
Jays on June 17.
“The last two starts, I’ve left the bullpen out to dry, and I’m not happy
about it,” Roark told MLB.com after his last start. “Just overall a bad start
again. But I’ve got to stay optimistic. I found something in there. So, you’ve
got to take a positive out of a negative all the time.”
The Phillies snapped a three-game losing streak with a 3-0 win over the New
York Yankees on Wednesday night.
At 42-36, Philadelphia enters the series a game ahead of Washington for
second place in the National League East. The Phillies are 2.5 games behind the
Atlanta Braves for the top spot in the division.
The Phillies took two of three against the Nationals last weekend. The teams
have split six head-to-head meetings in 2018 — all of which were at Nationals
The weather conditions will be suitably brutal. Like the Cleveland
Despite temperatures forecast in the single digits, thousands of
disillusioned fans are expected to attend a parade on Saturday to commemorate –
and protest – the historically inept 0-16 season.
Nothing like some floats and frostbite.
The ”Perfect Season Parade” organizer Chris McNeil’s tongue-in-cheek tweet
more than a year ago spawned a small uprising within Cleveland’s passionate fan
base. He’s spent the past few days finalizing preparation for the parade. There
will be a
Mitchell Marner Jersey , RVs, an ambulance and hearse – to symbolically
bury the season.
Fans will make a counter-clockwise ”no victory” lap around FirstEnergy
Stadium to form a zero to match the team’s win total.
”There’s no turning back now,” said McNeil, who has been condemned and
praised leading up to the parade.
A season-ticket holder, McNeil never wanted the parade to happen. The Browns,
though, turned an intended joke into reality by becoming the second team in NFL
history to lose 16 games in a season. In joining the 2008 Detroit Lions,
Cleveland’s team has found a new low in nearly two decades of disgrace since
returning as an expansion franchise in 1999.
The Browns were stumbling toward a 1-15 record in 2016 under first-year coach
Hue Jackson. McNeil, who like other fans was basking in the aftermath of the
Cavaliers winning the NBA title to end the city’s 52-year championship drought,
posted a sarcastic message on Twitter about the Browns: ”This team deserves a
The sentiment created a stir on social media. Soon McNeil, better known as
Auston Matthews Jersey , was obtaining a permit from the city to hold a
parade. But it was canceled when the Browns finally won on Christmas Eve after
14 straight losses.
McNeil gave money raised to hold the event to the Cleveland Food Bank, a gift
that reached nearly $50,000 after Browns owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam doubled the
McNeil never considered the possibility of another parade, but when the
Browns lost in Pittsburgh last Sunday, it became official.
He’s organized on the fly, hiring security, taking out insurance and renting
portable bathrooms. McNeil set up a GoFundMe account to help cover expenses.
Excedrin donated nearly $8,000, saying Browns fans didn’t need another headache
after what they’ve endured.
As of Friday morning, the event’s Facebook page says 6,300 people have
committed to attend and
Nazem Kadri Jersey ,000 more are interested.
McNeil knows of fans flying from California. Area hotels have informed him
that guests intend to attend the parade despite a weather forecast better suited
for penguins and polar bears.
In recent weeks, McNeil has sensed the tone change from sarcastic to serious.
Browns fans are demanding better.
”Some people are saying they want to turn this thing around,” he said.
”Others say they want to fire Hue Jackson or change ownership. Others just want
to go down there and have a cathartic experience.”
The Browns haven’t impeded McNeil and understand this comes with the
territory after going 1-31 in two years.
”We greatly appreciate the passion of all our fans and we apologize to them
for not making 2017 an enjoyable season,” the Browns said in a statement. ”We
certainly hear them and understand their frustration. Obviously, we want the
same thing as our fans; winning results. We are committed to doing everything we
can to improve and build them the type of team they most certainly deserve.”
McNeil is criticized by some who feel he’s mocking the Browns and only
bringing more embarrassment to Cleveland, whose image was scarred for years by
the city’s sports failures.
He argues his goal was to give fans a voice to reach the Haslams.
”People know we have been wronged by this organization and we deserve better
and they know while it’s a tongue-in-cheek thing by calling it a parade, it
really is a protest,” he said. ”We’re not out here saying we’re happy about
0-16. When I think of embarrassment, I think of a team that has won one game in