Phillies start seven game road trip tonight in Atlanta
The Philadelphia Phillies begin their first road trip of the 2021 season tonight in Atlanta as they take on the Braves at Truist Park. After dominant pitching performances from Nola, Wheeler, and Eflin during the opening day series against the Braves, the Phillies broke out the brooms and swept the Braves back to Atlanta.
On the season, the Phillies pitching staff currently has the lowest collective ERA in Major League Baseball at 2.18. The starting rotation was fantastic and surprisingly enough, the bullpen was too. With a combined 3.27 ERA, the bullpen has been able to hold leads throughout the first six games. If it wasn’t for Vinny Velo, the Phillies bullpen ERA would be even better.
Tonight, Zack Wheeler will take the mound looking to repeat his first performance against the Braves this season. He allowed only one hit and struck out 10 over seven innings and had two hits and two RBI at the plate, leading the Phillies over the Braves in a 4-0 victory. Wheeler retired his final 17 hitters he faced and the 10 strikeouts were the most he’s had in a Phillies uniform.
The Phillies are off to a 5-1 start. They swept the series against the Braves and took two of three games against the New York Mets. Now, they will hit the road for a seven game road trip against the same teams in the Braves and Mets. The bats for the Phillies finally came alive last game as Rhys Hoskins, JT Realmtuo, and Alec Bohm all hit home runs. Hoskins specifically, is off to a red-hot start to the 2021 season. Hoskins is batting .417 with 10 hits, six doubles, a home run, and two RBI.
As Rhys goes, so goes the Philadelphia Phillies. In the 2020 season, the Phillies were 8-2 when Hoskins hit a home run and 11-4 when Hoskins had at least one RBI. The team was also 6-14 when Hoskins did not play, showing his importance to this Phillies team. In Phillies wins, Hoskins went .262/.398/.607/1.005. In Phillies losses, he sat at .224/.366/.373/.739.
The core of the Phillies lineup have all played well through the first six games but we are all still waiting for a signature Bryce Harper takeover game. The $330 million man is batting .263 with a double, two RBI, and zero home runs. Harper having a breakout series this weekend against the Braves would perfect timing as the Phillies look to distance themselves from the pack in the NL East standings.
Charlie Morton will take the mound for the Braves. Morton struggled during his first outing against the Phillies allowing six hits, three earned runs, and two walks in a 4-0 loss. Tonight, the Phillies will need the bats to come alive yet again so they don’t have to rely on Wheeler at the plate. Wheeler was 2-for-3 against Morton with two RBI and a run scored last week.
Saturday 7:20pm: Zach Eflin vs Ian Anderson
Sunday 7:08pm: Matt Moore vs Drew Smyly