The Phillies: Did we not just do this? Having been to the razors edge of a sweep against a superior team, the Phillies somehow fondled together a late-game comeback victory to salvage the series, and now we can only hope the momentum carries them into game one of the next series, so as to avoid repeating this process.
The Brewers: Milwaukee is part of the same tangled mess of teams just under, at, or just over .500. Who will emerge as the surprise team that ruins somebody else's season and steals the second Wild Card spot? I will be surprised if it is the Brewers. It will not be. They're experimenting, they're tinkering, they're giving guys a shot because, screw it. This could be a three-game series of prolonged nine-inning affairs.
Jonathan Lucroy (.294/.357/.373) - Yeah, Yeah.
Ryan Braun (.340/.421/.560) - Blah, blah blah.
Chris Carter (.261/.339/.630) - Here's good the stuff. It was suggested on March 31 that Carter could be a 40-home run guy for Milwaukee. After slugging four home runs this season, it was mentioned that he's on pace for 43. Also, nine of his 12 hits this year have taken him to extra bases. Congratulations to NL batting champion Chris Carter!
Freddy Galvis (.241/.262/.414) - In the Mets series, Galvis easily led the extra base-hit charge (chased only by newcomer David Lough) with two doubles and a home run. And that's without giving the heroic context of most of his actions.
Carlos Ruiz (.269/.345/.538) - Chooch went 3-for-5 in the Phillies' victory yesterday. Here comes Chooch!
ODUBEL WALK WATCH: Herrera walked three more times against the Mets, once in each game. It makes sense that the Phillies, relenting to the limitless wisdom of Twitter, finally put him in the lead-off spot.
Aaron Nola vs. Zach Davies
The Phillies are still on top of all of baseball when it comes to strikeouts - 164 through 16 games. Nola is behind only Vince Velasquez among the Philadelphia hurlers with 23 in three starts. He's also walked only three batters. So there's no reason to despair after his last showing against the Nationals, in which he gave up seven earned runs. It turns out he's one of those pitchers who becomes all the more hittable when his fastball command slips for an evening.
Davies is a fresh face on the Brewers, promoted from the minors on April 16 in place of outfielder Keon Broxton. Don't forget, the Brewers are rebuilding as well, so a lot of green arms are getting their first chances in Milwaukee colors too. In his first start, Davies had little command to speak of, while his defense imploded in one particularly damning inning against the Pirates in a 9-3 loss.
Charlie Morton vs. Chase Anderson
These two sound like they just co-founded a local hardware store. Charlie is the neighborhood's old blood, begrudgingly taking Chase, the former high school football star back in town after a failed athletic/movie career, under his wing. But don't go getting involved with Charlie's daughter, Chase - even though she's your old high school flame! And did I mention the hardware store is haunted? Sometimes the tools we need most... are other people. "Chasing Charlie," coming this fall to TBS.
Jerad Eickhoff vs. Wily Peralta
Eickhoff allowed the Mets to score twice in seven innings; the same offense that battered them for eleven runs and six homers just the other day. He's already got five starts against New York to draw from in his young career, carrying a 2.81 ERA against them, but only getting four runs of support in five starts. So that's something to note as we move forward - how does a pitcher without the stoicism and experience of Cole Hamels respond to his team refusing to help him?
Fortunately, Peralta seems perfectly capable of giving up runs. Or at least, providing the opportunity to do so. He brought his ERA down from a league-worst 10.13 to an I-guess-better 8.35 after his last start, in which he allowed two separate bases-loaded, no-out scenarios in the first two innings. Did the other team score? I'll leave that up to you. Besides, the only thing that matters is the Phillies' ability to score in that situation, which we can all agree is probably minimal.
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