Series Preview: Phillies, Ranger Suarez open 3-game series tonight in Cleveland
The Philadelphia Phillies are in Cleveland this weekend and will open up a three game series against the Guardians tonight at 7:10PM with Ranger Suarez on the mound against Gavin Williams.
The Guardians are 47-49 on the season and are 5-5 over their last 10 games. They sit in second place in an underperforming AL Central, two games behind the Minnesota Twins and just took 2-of-3 from the Pittsburgh Pirates in their previous series, but have lost 4-of-6 since returning from the All-Star break.
After taking 3-of-4 from the San Diego Padres to start the second half of the 2023 MLB season, the Phillies dropped 2-of-3 to the Brewers, highlighted by a miserable two-hit game against Milwaukee’s ace Corbin Burnes in yesterday’s 4-0 loss at Citizens Bank Park.
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Phillies Standings Update
On the year, the Phillies are 52-44, tied with the Marlins in second place in the NL East Standings, 10.5 games behind the Atlanta Braves.
As for the National League Wild Card, the Phillies are clinging on to the third and final spot behind the Diamondbacks and Giants.
Even with a rough series against the Brew Crew, the Phillies find themselves in a favorable position heading into August while every team around them continues to stumble.
National League Trends
- Atlanta is 5-5 over their last 10 games.
- Miami has lost six straight and are just 2-8 over their last 10 games.
- Arizona is 4-6 over their last 10 games.
- San Francisco, while winning 7 out of 10, have lost 2 straight games.
Ranger Suarez vs Gavin Williams
Ranger Suarez was nearly unhittable in the month of June. He posted a 2-0 record with a 1.08 ERA and 33 strikeouts in five starts.
Things haven’t been as smooth for Ranger in the month of July. In three starts this month, Suarez is 0-2 with a 5.82 ERA and 12 strikeouts. He received a no-decision after giving up three runs over six innings against the San Diego Padres on Saturday. Suarez has allowed 12 runs (11 earned) in his past three starts covering 17 innings after posting a stellar 1.08 ERA in five outings last month.
Needless to say, a bounce back performance from Suarez tonight to snap a two-game skid by the Phillies is of the upmost importance.
Opposing Ranger will be Guardians pitcher Gavin Williams. The Cleveland Guardians 23rd overall pick in the 2021 MLB Draft has posted a 1-2 record over five starts this season, with 23 strikeouts and a 1.18 WHIP over 29.2 innings pitched.
Williams allowed two runs over five innings in a 2-0 road loss to the Texas Rangers on Saturday. He threw 92 pitches and retired 10 of the last 11 batters he faced.
Bryce Harper at First Base in Cleveland…?
Because I’m a total freak, last night I was checking the Phillies’ transaction report and noticed that first baseman Darick Hall was optioned to Lehigh Valley.
Hall, who has been nothing short of a massive disappointment this season, was no where near what the Phillies needed at first base in the absence of Rhys Hoskins. He batted just .167 with nine hits, a home run, and three runs scored over 54 at-bats.
You would have to assume that means the Phillies are ready to play Bryce Harper at first base this weekend against the Guardians.
It could also mean recalling either Kody Clemens or Jake Cave from Triple A Lehigh Valley.
Jake Cave has been on an absolute tear with the IronPigs, batting .346 with a 1.113 OPS. He has 16 home runs and 49 RBI in Lehigh Valley over 237 at-bats.
Kody Clemens, who was productive at times for the Phillies in the majors this season, was optioned back to Triple A in June and really, has fallen off a cliff in terms of his production. Over his last 15 games, Clemens is batting just .152 with seven hits and 13 strikeouts in 46 at-bats.
Note: If the Phillies were SMART for once, they would add Scott Kingery to the 40-man roster and call him up to the major league roster immediately.
Kingery is batting .270 this season in Lehigh Valley with 11 home runs and 33 RBI. He has a .797 OPS and was on fire in the month of June while remaining hot through the first three weeks of July.
Although it feels like the Phillies’ organization has given up all hope on the return of Jetpax SZN, you can read more about Kingery here.
Philadelphia Phillies at Cleveland Guardians – 7:10PM – Progressive Field – Cleveland, Ohio
|Philadelphia Phillies||-1.5 (+130)||+105||O 9.5 (-110)|
|Cleveland Guardians||+1.5 (-160)||-125||U 9.5 (-110)|
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