The first place Phillies open up a weekend series in Denver tonight against the Rockies
Will Vincent Velasquez finally cement himself in Phillies’ history tonight against the Rockies? Probably not, but the Phillies don’t have many other options right now in terms of pitching. Matt Moore is currently on the Phillies’ COVID-19 injury list, opening the door up for Vinny Velo to take the mound in his absence. Moore has thrown 11 innings this season and has allowed 17 hits, 13 runs, 12 earned runs, four home runs, while walking nine. With Moore touting a 9.82 ERA, it’s not like the Phillies are missing much from their fourth starter.
This season, Vinny Velo has faced 22 batters, walking eight, and striking out nine. As we all know, Velasquez is hardly a reliable option as a depth piece for the Phillies starting rotation. Velasquez has 5.31 ERA in 20 1/3 innings at Coors Field. Sunday’s starter Chase Anderson has a 6.66 ERA in 25 2/3 innings in Denver. Aaron Nola starts Saturday night. He has allowed five runs with 16 strikeouts and three walks in 12 2/3 innings at Coors Field.
Spencer Howard, who was recently recalled from Lehigh Valley, looked like the pitcher we all hoped he would be last game against the Giants. Howard pitched 1.1 innings in relief, allowing zero hits, zero runs, and zero walks while striking out three.
At the plate, the Phillies are expecting Didi Gregorius to return from injury after missing the Giants series due to inflammation in his right elbow. After the Phillies 6-5 victory against the Giants, Girardi expressed confidence that Gregorius will return against the Rockies. Didi has had some big games in Denver, batting .413 (19-for-46) lifetime at Coors Field with a double, triple, and three home runs. His OPS in Denver is 1.145.
In his absence, rookie Nick Maton was recalled from Lehigh Valley and has played above anyone’s expectations. If Gregorius can’t go tonight, Maton will be back at shortstop for the Phillies. With Jean Segura on the 10-Day Injury List, it’s likely that Maton could slide over to second base if Gregorius returns. Maton is off to a red hot start essentially out of no where. He’s slashing .417/.417/.917 with five hits, one run, and one RBI in 12 at-bats.
The Rockies will send three right-handed pitchers to the mound against the Phillies this weekend with German Marquez (1-1, 3.57), Antonio Senzatela (1-3, 5.40) and Jon Gray (2-1, 2.42) all slated to start. Great news for Bryce Harper, who is on an MVP level tear entering tonight.
Over the last five games, Harper is 11-for-17 with two doubles and two home runs. He raised his batting average from .231 to .357 and his OBP from .388 to an MLB leading .493. Harper also loves hitting in the thin air at Coors Field. He’s 35-for-93 (.376) with 11 doubles, four home runs, 15 RBIs, and 17 walks lifetime in Denver.
The Rockies have the worst record in baseball at 6-12 and the Phillies are an even .500 at 9-9 and tied for first place with the New York Mets (7-7) in a crowded NL East. Keep an eye on certified Phillies killer Charlie Blackmon, who has a .337 batting average with 11 doubles, two triples, 11 home runs, and 24 RBIs in 175 career at-bats against the Phillies over his career.
Mandatory Credit: Rich Graessle | Icon Sportswire