Phillies Look to Stay Hot as They Welcome the Los Angeles Dodgers to South Philly
After coming off an outstanding weekend at Citizens Bank Park, the Phillies welcome the Los Angeles Dodgers to South Philadelphia for a three game series, starting tonight. The Phillies have won eight games in a row, and are playing the best team baseball since 2011.
This series won’t be easy by any means, with the Dodgers being one of the most lethal, deep teams in the league. After recently acquiring Max Scherzer and Trae Turner from the Nationals, the Dodgers are stacking their lineup and pitching rotation to make a late push for the NL West title.
Tuesday (7:05 EST): Aaron Nola (7-6, 4.49 ERA) vs Max Scherzer (9-4, 2.75 ERA)
Aaron Nola will get the ball for the Phillies in game one on Tuesday night. This season has been very up and down for Nola. His command has been inconsistent at times, he’s tended to stray away from his fastball as of recent, and he hasn’t been as dominant as he was in years past. There’s been a lot of questions over the last few months about Nola’s “ace” status, and how much he can be trusted moving forward, based on his previous performances.
Tuesday night will be a big test for Nola, going up against a great pitcher in Max Scherzer, and a stacked Dodgers lineup. He’ll look to bounce back from his most recent start vs the Nationals, where he allowed five hits, five earned runs, and walked three batters in just five innings of work.
Wednesday (7:00 EST): Kyle Gibson (2-0, 2.13 ERA) vs David Price (4-1, 3.53 ERA)
Kyle Gibson will take the hill in game two for the Phils. Gibson has been an all around solid pitcher for the team since recently acquired from the Texas Rangers. In his last start, Gibson went six innings, allowing just one earned run, striking out three batters. He even showed a little Philly grit at the end of his inning, letting out all of his emotions after retiring his last batter.
Kyle Gibson’s third start with the team will be his real test, a big hitting Dodgers team with some hot hitters. Gibson has faced a terrible Pirates lineup, and a slumping Mets team. That’s not taking anything away from what Gibson has done, but I am very excited to see how he performs with a powerhouse lineup in front of him.
Thursday (1:00 EST): Undecided (Phillies) vs Julio Urias (13-3, 3.41 ERA)
The Phillies have not named a starter at this moment in time for the series finale on Thursday. If everything goes according to plan, and no more injuries happen to any pitchers (because man there has been a lot of them), Ranger Suarez should make his third official start for the team.
Although he hasn’t thrown many pitches due to a strict pitch count, Suarez has been lockdown in his few innings as a starter. Ranger has thrown 5.2 innings in two starts, striking out five batters, letting up zero earned runs, and has not allowed a hit. If Suarez is the chosen pitcher to throw on Thursday, he’ll look to continue dealing from the starting role, with hopefully a higher pitch count.
Key Phillies vs the Dodgers
Bryce Harper has been the best player in baseball over the last few weeks. He’s making his push for the NL MVP, currently holding the second bets odds, behind an injured Fernando Tatis Jr. His energy is through the roof, and every ball he makes contact has been absolutely smoked.
Harper is slashing .351/.533/.870 over his last 15 games, with five home runs, ten RBIs, 18 hits, and a 1.403 OPS. He’s been the backbone of the Phillies hot streak, and if he continues his dominant play til the end of the season, the MVP is his to lose.
The “Best Catcher in Baseball”, or “BCIB” for short, has sure been living up to his nickname as of recent. Realmuto has hit two home runs, ten RBIs, and notched twelve hits over his last 7 games, with a hitting line of .414/.452/.724 (1.176 OPS).
With Aaron Nola on the mound to start the series, JT will need to call a great game, similar to his dominant pitch calling on Sunday with Zack Wheeler. The Phillies have been hitting the ball extraordinarily well over their eight game win streak, and a good portion of that goes to the red hot JT Realmuto.
Phillies Injury Updates
The Phillies have been struck with multiple injuries throughout their win streak. Andrew McCutchen is on the IL with knee soreness, the same knee that he got surgery on in 2019. All signs are pointing to McCutchen to come right off of the injured list on his scheduled date, this upcoming Wednesday.
Rhys Hoskins is still nursing his groin injury, that has been lingering for over two weeks now. Hoskins groin kept him out for the New York Mets series, and although missing the bat of Hoskins will always hurt, Brad Miller held down the fort at first base. Hoskins is hitting .435/.500/.957 over his last seven games, with three home runs and nine RBIs.
Zach Eflin is still sidelined with tendinitis in his right knee, and a timetable has still not been announced. Eflin was pitching a solid season as the team’s third starter, and with him and Chase Anderson both on the IL, the Phils will most likely use a temporary four man rotation.
The Phillies welcome the Los Angeles Dodgers to town for a big three game series. The Fightin’s will look to keep building on their momentum from the last eight games, going up against a powerhouse Dodgers team. The team is into it, the fans are finally into this team again, and even the national media is starting to give this the respect they deserve.
Buy a shirt, ring a bell, and keep packing the Bank. We got a big series ahead of us.
Mandatory Credit: Getty Images
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