Harper’s reckoning: Phillies vs. Braves series preview

Thanks to the heroics of Matt Vierling, the Phillies’ five-game shedding streak got here to an in depth on Wednesday night time. It used to be nice to look Vierling come thru with a five-hit night time, together with the sport profitable unmarried within the 10th. But if the Phillies wish to proceed to win video games, they’ll most probably want identical heroics from their franchise participant, who hasn’t delivered a lot of them since his go back from the injured record.

Record: 93-55 (Second position in National League East, one recreation again)

The remaining time they met

The Phillies visited Truist Park remaining weekend and because of the efforts of Ronald Acuna, Jr, and a quiet offense, they have been swept within the three-game set.

Since then?

The Braves gained their first two video games in opposition to the Washington Nationals ahead of falling within the series finale. And would you take a look at that: The Nationals social media group in reality put out a just right tweet!

Game-by-game preview

Game 1: Thursday, 7:15 – Ranger Suarez vs. Max Fried

Suarez’s remaining get started used to be his very best in a while, as he went six innings, and best gave up one run. He used to be in place to earn the win ahead of Seranthony Dominguez were given blown up within the 8th. After Dominguez had some other terrible time out on Wednesday, is it time to fret in regards to the Phillies’ ace reliever?

He’s given up large house runs to Acuna and Vladimir Guerrero, Jr., and to be truthful, the ones guys break nights for a large number of pitchers. But apart from the ones house runs, Dominguez hasn’t regarded sharp. Considering his harm historical past and the truth that he already hung out at the injured record, it’s a must to hope his struggles aren’t because of a bodily ailment.

Game 2: Friday, 7:05 – Aaron Nola vs. Jake Odorizzi

Aaron Nola gets some other probability to erase the “Pitches poorly in September” narrative. In his remaining get started, he didn’t pitch a terrible recreation, and if it weren’t for the life of Acuna, it would have even been a very good get started. But alas, Acuna exists, and can most probably as soon as once more be within the Braves’ lineup on Friday.

You may wish to pitch round him this time, Aaron.

Game 3: Saturday, 4:05 PM – Bailey Falter vs. Kyle Wright

Kyle Schwarber got here thru with a snatch hit on Wednesday, an evening after he had 3 RBIs. Maybe that’s an indication that he’s heating up just a little?

How would you even outline Schwarber’s season? You can’t in reality say that the NL’s main house run hitter is having a nasty season, however it’s tricky to make the case that he’s having a in particular just right season both. A leadoff hitter with a .312 on-base proportion is much less then preferrred.

I notice that he’s relaxed on the leadoff spot, and they may not wish to make primary adjustments at this level of the season, however I feel they want to discover different choices for subsequent yr.

Game 4: Sunday, 1:05 – Kyle Gibson vs. Charlie Morton

I’d say it could be tricky for Gibson to pitch worse than he did in opposition to the Blue Jays, however I don’t wish to tempt destiny. He’s given up seven runs in two other begins in September, which isn’t in reality what you wish to have out of a veteran starter.

The just right information for Gibson is that his get started will probably be on the similar time that the Eagles are taking over Carson Wentz and the Commanders. With lots of the town’s sports activities fanatics turning their consideration in different places, if he does have some other dangerous get started, he’ll obtain lower than the traditional degree of vitriol on social media.

We want an MVP

Perhaps probably the most irritating factor about gazing Acuna’s heroics remaining weekend is understanding that the Phillies theoretically have a man who’s able to functioning at that degree. I’ve written ahead of about Bryce Harper’s legacy, and it doesn’t glance all that fab at the moment.

Yes, he has two MVP awards to his credit score, and the Nationals did win a couple of department titles when he used to be there. But his Nationals groups by no means gained a playoff series, and so they after all broke thru to win the World Series the season after he left. Meanwhile, his new group is 0-3 in relation to making the playoffs. And now in his fourth yr at the Phillies, after seeing the group thrive in his injury-related absence, they’ve stumbled upon his go back.

It was {that a} series in opposition to the Braves would carry out the most productive in Harper. In 2019, he had an OPS of one.016 with seven house runs in 19 video games in opposition to them. But for the second one directly season, the Phillies have long past to Atlanta in September, and Harper has been invisible.

If the Phillies omit the playoffs, there will probably be numerous blame to head round. The pitching has been a lot worse since he’s been again, and I don’t suppose Harper has a lot to do with that, until you’re of the realization that he someway “ruined the vibe of the clubhouse.” But truthful or now not, if the Phillies do fall brief, maximum fanatics are going to indicate hands on the franchise participant.


Last series’ resolution: Mariano Duncan led the Phillies with ten hits within the 1993 World Series. (I might have sworn it used to be Lenny Dykstra) SLDH used to be proper.

This series’ query: Since Citizens Bank Park opened in 2004, who holds the Braves’ document for many hits on the stadium in one season?

Closing idea

Much just like the Phillies, the Milwaukee Brewers aren’t enjoying like a group made up our minds to make it to the playoffs. But their time table eases up with a four-game series at Cincinnati, so the Phillies can’t rely on them to stay shedding video games.

The Braves are a just right group, however the Phillies can’t simply concede defeat. They’ve overwhelmed the Braves ahead of this season, and there’s no explanation why they are able to’t beat them once more this weekend.

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