Phillies-Nationals Preview

While the reigning five-time NL East champs had long been

accustomed to bettering their club with pre-deadline trades over

the past few years, they found themselves on the opposite end of

those deals this time around.

Despite having all but given up on their season, the last-place

Philadelphia Phillies don’t appear ready to go down without a

fight.

Visiting Philadelphia tries to build on its series-opening win

Wednesday night against the division-leading Washington

Nationals.

The Phillies (46-57) proved plenty busy Tuesday afternoon,

sending All-Star outfielders Hunter Pence to San Francisco and

impending free agent Shane Victorino to the Los Angeles Dodgers in

separate deals. Philadelphia received reliever Josh Lindblom and

minor league pitcher Ethan Martin in exchange for Victorino, and

outfielder Nate Schierholtz, minor league catcher Tommy Joseph and

minor league pitcher Seth Rosin for Pence.

“We’re going to miss who they are and everything like that,”

manager Charlie Manuel said. “But also, I think where we are and

where we want to go, we’ve got to do some things and we’ve

definitely got to try some things to get better.”

“When you’re in last place, you can try any damn thing. If you

want to try something, why not? You don’t have nothing to

lose.”

The Phillies certainly played like it Tuesday, defeating the

Nationals 8-0 behind seven strong innings from Cliff Lee and Jimmy

Rollins’ two-run, inside-the-park homer off Stephen Strasburg.

Kevin Frandsen also went deep for Philadelphia, which has posted

back-to-back wins over Washington following a 3-13 skid in the

series.

Despite Tuesday’s result, the Phillies still sit 15 1/2 games

behind the Nationals (61-41) and in the bottom half of the

wild-card standings.

“Obviously, nobody is happy with the way this year has gone,”

Lee said. “No one’s giving up. No one’s folded yet. So, it’s game

on.”

Washington, meanwhile, entered Tuesday having won eight of nine

but managed just four singles and a double in the loss, going 1 for

5 with runners in scoring position. The Nationals were without two

of their best hitters in Ryan Zimmerman and Adam LaRoche, who were

both dealing with minor back injuries. It’s uncertain if either

will be available in this game.

Washington will try to get back on track behind Edwin Jackson

(6-6, 3.52 ERA), who’s been sharp in his last two starts. The

right-hander struck out a season best-tying nine over seven innings

of one-run ball during a 4-0 loss to Atlanta on July 21, then

scattered eight hits over seven scoreless innings Thursday in an

8-2 victory at Milwaukee.

“Our guy was just spectacular,” manager Davey Johnson said. “A

couple little jams and he pitched out of them. He’s been pitching

great all year.”

Jackson is 0-2 with a 6.00 ERA in two career starts against the

Phillies, both of which have come on the road. He allowed three

runs over seven innings during a 4-1 defeat May 23.

Jackson will be opposed by Vance Worley (5-6, 3.88), who gave up

three runs and 10 hits over 5 1-3 innings in last Wednesday’s 7-6,

10-inning win over the Brewers. The right-hander is 1-2 with a 6.43

ERA in his last five starts, during which opponents are hitting

.353 against him.

In his only career appearance in the nation’s capital, Worley

was tagged for five runs and 11 hits over six innings of a 7-1 loss

May 5.