Phillies Look to Stay Hot in Battle of PA
After capping off their series against the Washington Nationals in heroic fashion, the Phillies hit the road looking to build on their newfound momentum. They will spend the weekend facing off against the Pittsburg Pirates in a good old-fashioned battle of Pennsylvania.
Probable Pitching Matchups for Phillies-Pirates series
- Game one: Vince Velasquez (3-5, 5.54 ERA) vs. Will Crowe (2-5, 5.89 ERA)
- Game two: Aaron Nola (7-6, 4.37 ERA) vs. JT Brubaker (4-10, 4.67 ERA)
- Game three: Spencer Howard (0-2, 5.72 ERA) vs. TBD
This is exactly the type of series the Phillies need to kickstart a hot streak. The Pirates have been one of the worst teams in baseball this season and are in the midst of a rough patch. Pittsburg has dropped eight of their last ten games and is riding a four-game losing streak.
Facing off against a struggling team such as the Pirates gives the Phillies’ pitchers a chance to get a good outing under the belt. Vince Velasquez could certainly benefit from that after giving up six earned runs in just over two innings of work his last time on the mound.
Aaron Nola will be on the hill Saturday, hoping to follow up an incredible showing he had against the Braves. After falling one out short of a complete game shutout, the ace looks to be heating up at the right time.
The bats came alive for the Phillies late in their walk-off win against the Nationals on Thursday, and they have a chance to stay hot to kick off the month of August. Both Will Crowe and JT Brubaker have struggled as of late. Crowe has allowed at least two runs in each of his last three outings, while Brubaker is 0-7 with an ERA close to six in his previous seven starts.
As it currently stands, the Phillies sit just three and a half games behind the Mets in the division race. This weekend is a golden opportunity to cover some ground as we slowly approach the month of September. There is no reason why the Phillies shouldn’t win this series in a sweep.
Momentum is everything in baseball, especially in the final stretch of the season. The Phillies cannot afford to let three very winnable games fall by the wayside this weekend.
- Aaron Nola has recorded 22 strikeouts in his last 20 innings
- Rhys Hoskins is batting .364 with six RBI’s over his last seven games
- Bryce Harper is batting .529 with a .941 SLG% over his last seven games
- Andrew McCutchen has 92 career home runs and a batting average of .304 at PNC Park
Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA Today Sports