The Phillies continue their homestand with a pivotal series in the Wild Card race against the San Francisco Giants. Photo by Wayne Terry, TPL.

After dropping the series against the White Sox, the Phillies will look to get back on track as they head on the road. Their first stop on the road trip is Arizona, where they will face off in a series against the Diamondbacks. This is a big series as the Diamondbacks are not too far behind the Phillies in the Wild Card standings. 

Probable Pitching Matchups 

Game one: Vince Velasquez (3-6, 4.40 ERA) vs Merrill Kelly (7-11, 4.52 ERA) 

Game two: Jake Arrieta (8-8, 4.44 ERA) vs Mike Leake (9-8, 4.27 ERA)

Game three: Jason Vargas (6-5, 3.93 ERA) vs Zac Gallen (1-3, 2.72 ERA) 

The Phillies lucked out with this series. They will not have to face either of Arizona’s best pitchers as Zack Grienke was dealt to the Astros at the trade deadline, and Robbie Ray will not be on the hill in this series. Sadly for the Phillies, they will be without the services of ace Aaron Nola. 

This is a series that the Phillies cannot afford to drop, but I am nervous about it. After the Phillies were unable to take care of business at home against the White Sox, who are competing for nothing, the idea of going on the road to face a team that is on their heels in the standings is not ideal. One thing in the Phillies’ favor is that the Diamondbacks have a losing record at home this season. 

With Sunday’s loss, the Phillies are now back on the outside looking in when it comes to the Wild Card standings. That being said, picking up wins in this series is crucial. Right now the Phillies have some breathing room between them and the teams that are under them in the standings, but dropping another series will dig them an even deeper hole that they will need to get themselves out of. Getting the job done against struggling teams is an issue that the Phillies have had this season. I hope for the sake of seeing Phillies baseball in October that this issue does not continue this week. 

Stats to keep an eye on 

  • Roman Quinn is batting .333 over his last seven games. 
  • Cesar Hernandez is batting .345 with five RBI’s over his last seven games. 
  • Merrill Kelly has allowed 14 earned runs over his last 8.1 innings pitched.
  • The Diamondbacks as a team hit .247 at home compared to .266 on the road this season.