Dan Haren looks for his 1st win since May 9 when he takes on the Phillies tonight. The Washington Nationals and Philadelphia Phillies open a four-game series at Citizens Bank Park at 7 ET on ESPN/WatchESPN. Here are five stats that will surely be talked about tonight on tonight's telecast.
1. Bryce Harper is starting to heat up after coming off the DL on July 1. He is 4-for-6 with four RBI in the last two games after going 1-for-19 in his first five games back. He has hits in all three games against the Phillies this season.
Nationals vs LHP
2. The Nationals are 13-10 against left-handed starters this season, but the offense has struggled against southpaws.
Washington hitters have a .218 batting average and .626 OPS against lefties, both the lowest in the majors.
The acquisition of Scott Hairston from the Cubs on Sunday should help; he has a .818 career OPS against southpaws.
Haren hasn’t won since May 9, and with a loss, he would be the fifth 10-game loser in the National League.
Dan Haren Slider, Last 4 Seasons
Over his last eight starts, Haren is 0-6 with a 7.01 ERA. He has allowed at least one home run in 11 of his 15 starts this season. His 19 homers allowed are tied for the second-most in the majors (Jeremy Guthrie has allowed 20).
Eleven of the 19 home runs Haren has allowed this season have come off his slider, one of his best out pitches during his three seasons with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
4. Domonic Brown is second in the NL with 23 home runs, 20 of them coming since the calendar flipped to May (most in the National League).
Brown has been especially productive at home. He leads the majors with home runs on 34% of his flyballs at home; compared to only 15% away from Citizens Bank Park.
5. For the second straight season, the Phillies placed Ryan Howard in the DL. After playing at least 140 games every year from 2006 to 2011, he’s played only 151 games over the last two years combined.
Howard signed a 5-year, $125-million contract in 2010 that runs through 2016 (with a club option in 2017). As for platooning, Howard has hit below .200 against left-handed pitchers in each of the last two seasons.