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Phillies Vs. Nationals: Nationals Renew Rivalry With Phillies On Memorial Day

The Washington Nationals have hit a funk winning only two games of their last 10 and have firmly planted themselves in the cellar of the NL East. The team was hoping to break out of that funk on the struggling San Diego Padres this past weekend, but it was the Nationals who were left struggling off their own home field losing two games of a three game series.

Now the Nats have to turn their attention to the new opponents coming into Washington on Memorial Day: the NL East leading Philadelphia Phillies who are bringing their tough-as-nails pitching corps with them. On Tuesday, the Nationals will have to wrangle in Cliff Lee, but on Memorial Day Monday they will have the task of somehow reaching and breaking Roy Halladay (6-3, 2.35 ERA) who holds an impeccable record against Washington. Halladay has a lifetime record of 10-1 with a 2.01 ERA against the Nats/Expos in 14 appearances.

This is something the offense-less Nats probably don't want to deal with on a holiday.

In response the Nationals are sending out starter Livan Hernandez (3-6, 3.71 ERA) to oppose Halladay. Hernandez has not won a game since April 28th. He has lost the last four starts he has had, but a part of that has to do with an offense that has not backed him up on the scoreboard. On Monday that offense will consist of center fielder Rick Ankiel starting in center and batting lead-off, a rested second baseman in Danny Espinosa and infielder Alex Cora taking over duties at shortstop for Ian Desmond.


Nationals Line-Up

Rick Ankiel - CF

Danny Espinosa - 2B

Jayson Werth - RF

Laynce Nix - LF

Michael Morse - 1B

Wilson Ramos - C

Jerry Hairston Jr. - 3B

Alex Cora - SS

Livan Hernandez - SP