NOLA-STRASBURG DUEL KICKS OFF PHILS-NATS WEEKEND!

By Marj Gallagher

The Phillies are in Washington today at 4 pm to begin a three-game series at Nationals Park.

The Phillies will try to build on last weekend’s success against the reigning NL East champions with right-hander Aaron Nola on the mound. He gets an extra day of rest before he faces the Nats for the second time this season, after he gave up three runs in six innings with seven strikeouts in a victory Saturday.

Opposing him will be right-hander Stephen Strasburg, who struck out eight in seven innings of two-run ball against the Phillies on Sunday. He has lasted at least seven innings in his last five starts against the Phillies and owns a 2.43 ERA during that span.

Last season, Strasburg’s four-seam fastball was one of the hardest to make contact with in baseball. When opposing hitters swung at the pitch, they missed 10.9 percent of the time, the seventh-highest four-seam whiff rate in baseball. He’s picked up where he’s left off — in Strasburg’s first two starts of 2017, the whiff rate against his four-seamer is 15.9 percent.

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