8 7IN 14 INNINGSGame 2, 7:05 PMGame Preview:
The Phillies - who have not lost three straight since July 23-25 - hand the ball to rookie Cole Hamels (9-8, 4.06 ERA), who has been one of the team's best pitchers in the past two months. He has won his last two starts, including Friday against the Florida Marlins , whom he limited to one run in 6 2-3 innings in a 5-2 win.
The 23-year-old left-hander has held opponents to two or fewer runs in five consecutive starts and nine of his last 10. Hamels is 6-3 with a 2.42 ERA during that span, dating back to Aug. 3.
''I'm very pleased because I definitely know you have to learn from failure to succeed,'' Hamels said. ''It's how you finish. Nobody remembers the beginning. They always remember the end. I just want to finish as strong as I can.''
Hamels is 2-1 with a 3.32 ERA in three starts against the Nationals. He allowed one run and four hits in eight innings against them in a 5-1 win Aug. 30.
The Nationals will counter with Pedro Astacio (5-5, 6.12), who is coming off consecutive wins for the first time this season. He allowed two runs and nine hits in 6 1-3 innings Friday in a 3-2 win over the Mets.
''No one is going out there trying to look bad,'' said Astacio, who was 0-3 with a 11.37 ERA in five starts before regrouping. ''You want to go out there and win some games. You go out there to compete.''
The right-hander is 10-11 with a 5.33 ERA in 29 appearances - 27 starts - against the Phillies. He is 0-1 with an 11.74 ERA in two starts against them this season, getting tagged for 11 runs and 14 hits in just 7 2-3 innings.