Phillies vs Mets Series Preview: Rhys Hoskins not playing game one…wait what?
Everyone, remain calm! It’s happening! The Phillies are just half a game back from the New York Mets in the race for the NL East. This is the most important series of the season thus far, and the Phillies are red hot. The Phillies are on a 5 game win streak after sweeping a depleted Nationals squad. Last night they came all the way back from 3 runs down in the 9th with some clutch hitting by JT Realmuto and Rhys Hoskins. Sure, the Nationals stink since they traded away most of their team, but good teams sweep bad teams. That is exactly what the Phillies did.
The Mets also stink. They are without Jacob DeGrom and Francisco Lindor. Yes, they picked up Javy Baez at the trade deadline, but he is coming off of an 0-5 night with 5 Ks. That’s one strikeout worse than a golden sombrero. The Mets are coming off of a series loss against the Marlins where they only won one game. They’ve also lost 6 of their last 8 games. They’re hurting. It’s time for the Phillies to put them out of their misery and out of first place.
Best case scenario: The Phillies come out of this series 2.5 games up on the Mets. Worst case scenario: They end up 3.5 games back. Let’s dive in to see what the Fightins need to do to win this series.
Probable Pitching Matchups
- GAME 1: Marcus Stroman (7-10, 2.80 ERA) vs. Kyle Gibson (7-3, 2.86 ERA)
- GAME 2: Tylor Megill (1-1, 2.68 ERA) vs. Ranger Suarez (5-3, 1.04 ERA)
- GAME 3: Taijuan Walker (7-6, 3.86 ERA) vs. Zack Wheeler (9-6, 2.56 ERA)
Pitching is going to be key in this series. The Phillies are set up beautifully with Gibson in game 1 and Zack Wheeler in game 3 to hopefully close it out. Ranger Suarez will open game 2 for what is likely to be a bullpen game. Marcus Stroman should be the only point of concern as far as the Mets’ starting pitching goes. He has had success against the Phillies in the past. Expect to see a real duel in game 1 as Gibson makes his second start in pinstripes. And of course, let’s all hope that the bullpen can hold it together for this season-defining series.
Dear Phillies Offense: Please stay hot
Along with pitching, the Phillies’ offense needs to continue to produce as much as they have been. The Phillies offense has been the hottest in baseball the last 7 days. As a team, they are slashing .305/.368/.507. Some players to note in the LAST 7 GAMES:
- Bryce Harper- .435/.536/.913, 5 RBIs, 2 HR
- JT Realmuto- .478/.520/.783, 9 RBIs, 1 HR
- Rhys Hoskins- .435/.500/.957, 9 RBIs, 3 HR
But wait a second, the lineup for tonight’s game against the Mets was just released and there’s someone missing from the lineup. Take a look:
Rhys Hoskins is not playing? Joe Girardi is a moron. This is what happens when analytics get in the way of good old fashioned baseball. The middle of the order has been on absolute fire over the past week and now you want to sit Rhys Hoskins? I am well aware Rhys is just 1-for-11 against Marcus Stroman. Stroman is also 1-6 over his last seven starts and Rhys Hoskins, probably the biggest hot and cold hitter in all of baseball, is scorching hot right now. This is exactly when stats like that simply do not matter. You don’t change your lineup and take out your biggest run producer against the New York Mets a half game out of first place.
Rhys Hoskins is slashing .327/.450/.714 with 16 hits, four home runs, and 13 RBI over his last 15 games. Rhys Hoskins said it best after his game winning hit last night against the Nationals:
“I haven’t had much of it in my time here, but we’re ready for it. I’m excited to see what The Bank is like during a meaningful series against the Mets in August.”
Hoskins deserves this moment, Girardi. Blood is on your hands.
*** UPDATE ****
You win this time, Girardi. Carry on.
Bryce Harper is shoving his way into the NL MVP conversation. The NL MVP race got especially interesting since Acuña Jr. and Fernando Tatis are both out with injuries. If Harper continues to play like this, he should be right up there with the likes of Trea Turner and Max Muncy in this new and exciting MVP contest.
The biggest series of the season and I already don’t like the lineup. The Phillies will need everyone else to produce tonight to take first place. The Phillies are in the Mets’ rearview mirror, and they can pass them this weekend if all goes according to plan.
Mandatory Credit: New York Post