After a disastrous series loss against the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Phillies will head to San Francisco Thursday for a series against the Giants. The four-game set has huge postseason implications for the Phillies, who enter Thursday tied for the second Wild Card spot. After two straight series losses, it is time for the team to show that they have a pulse and bolster their position in the National League standings.
Game 1: Aaron Nola (3.60 ERA, 163 Ks) vs Madison Bumgarner (3.92 ERA, 142 Ks)
Game 2: Drew Smyly (7.01 ERA, 72 Ks) vs Tyler Beede (5.38 ERA, 69 Ks)
Game 3: Vince Velasquez (4.23 ERA, 88 Ks) vs Jeff Samardzija (3.70 ERA, 110 Ks)
Game 4: Jake Arrieta (4.41, 105 Ks) vs Conner Menez (5.37, 10 Ks)
The Giants are struggling mightily after posting a July record of 19-6. They have lost 7 of their last 10 games, and were just swept by the Nationals. The Phillies need to take advantage of a faltering team and take at least 3 out of 4 against San Francisco. If the Phillies truly want this to be the season that they finally return to the postseason, then these are the types of series they must win.
The key to winning this series for Philadelphia will be overcoming its offensive inconsistencies. After putting up 7 runs in the first game against Arizona, the Phillies only plated 5 runners across the next two games. They need more production from their hitters if they want to beat the Giants and put themselves in position to take a playoff spot. It’s time for the Phillies lineup to step up as the enter this big series.
- Thursday’s Game 1 will be broadcast exclusively on YouTube, as part of MLB’s Game of the Week on YouTube Live.
- Roman Quinn has an OPS of 1.011 over his last 15 games.
- Vince Velasquez is coming off the best start of his season, throwing 7 innings of 2-run baseball.
- Sunday’s Game 4 will be the third start of Conner Menez’s career, and his first against the Phillies.
(Top photo courtesy of Wayne Terry, staff photographer of The Painted Lines.)