Preview: Phillies v. Nationals at Nationals Park – Wednesday night, 7:05 pm Eastern.
The Phillies (4-3) continued their first visit to the nation’s capitol as they face the Nationals (0-7) at Nationals Park, for the second game of their three-games series. The Phils are looking to make it four wins in a row as they send Joe Blanton to the mound. Blanton (0-0, 15.75) is coming off a bad start against the Atlanta Braves on April 8, where he only went four innings, giving up seven runs on nine hits and two walks, while striking out six, in the Phillies’ come from behind 12-11 win. Against the Nationals, Blanton is 1-0 with a 5.40 ERA in three starts. He hopes to rebound in his start tonight, looking for his first win of the year. The winless Nationals will counter with Shairon Martis (0-0, 9.00), who is also coming off of a bad start. In his case, he is coming off a no-decision against the Braves on April 10, where he went only three innings, giving up three runs on five hits and a walk, as he only struck out one, in the Nationals’ 6-5 lost. He will also be looking to pitch a better game, hoping that the Phils’ bats won’t erupt on him.
The Phillies have also made a few announcements concerning the late Harry Kalas. Starting tomorrow, the players, coaches and manager Charlie Manuel will all be wearing, for the rest of the season, on their uniforms a black circular patch, with the letters HK in the middle of the patch in white, that will be placed on the front of their uniforms, near the players’ hearts, for the rest of the season. They also plan to have a tribute for him at Citizens Bank Park before their Friday night game with the San Diego Padres, and on Saturday, they will allow fans to pay their last respect to him on a first-come, first-serve basis, from 8 am to 12:45 pm, to get as many fans through as they can, followed at 1 pm by an on-field tribute for those fans who will be attending the game.