Every little bit helps: The Phillies will get a break this weekend when they play the Nationals and continue their quest to wrap up a fourth straight division title. Sparkplug centerfielder Nyjer Morgan will begin serving an eight-game suspension tonight (a reduction from what was originally a pair of suspensions totaling 15 games). Coincidentally, that happened immediately after Morgan played in the series against Atlanta in which the last-place Nationals won two of three, just the second home series the Braves have lost all season.
Gimme some 'O': The Phillies have scored 10 or more runs in four of their last 14 games. They had done it twice in their previous 54 games.
A reminder: If the Phils finish with the overall No. 1 NL seed, they have the option to choose to start the Division Series on Oct. 6 and be off on Oct. 7, meaning they would be able to keep their top three on a regular 5-day rotation throughout and not need a fourth starter until NLCS Game 4 at the earliest.
The fill-in: The Phillies are 28-12 when Wilson Valdez, who has been playing in place of the injured Jimmy Rollins, scores or drives in a run. They are 28-29 when he plays and does neither. This note is courtesy of Bob Vetrone Jr., who notices that sort of stuff.
Phormer Phillies Phile: Astros righthander Brett Myers, on Monday, became just the ninth pitcher since 1920 to open a season with 30 straight starts of at least six innings.
Select company: Ryan Howard has become just the third Phillies player to drive in at least 100 runs for five consecutive seasons. Sam Thompson did it from 1892-96 and Chuck Klein from 1929-33. They both are in the Hall of Fame.