The Phillies: There's not a whole lot to do now but sit back and slowly becomes an entirely new team over the next few years.
The Twins: A desperate, half-skeletal franchise watching bad pitching sink even lower than predicted as its fans turn weakly on each other in search of a scapegoat to roast. Sucks to be... uh, that. Exactly that. "...you cannot say their level of performance has been anywhere near even a reasonable expectation," wrote the Star-Tribune on the pitching, which in Minnesota is like giving the finger.
Max Kepler: Who is hitting for the Twins? Why, *squints, adjusts glasses* Max Kepler of course, who has four doubles and a home run in the last week. He gave his father the ultimate Father's Day gift by having a three-hit day and beating the Yankees. Seriously. I hope he's an only child because there's no beating that.
Eduardo Escobar: If home run-counting is your thing, Escobar actually has two in his last five games, and has in general been in quite a mood for all of June, hitting .333.
Brian Dozier: The Phillies might be getting the Twins' all-star second baseman just as he's hitting his stride, finally pulling out of a tailspin that really didn't make much of a difference, given how many other things are also wrong with this team
Jimmy Paredes: Jimmy Paredes was 5-for-15 last week with two doubles. Get excited, Philadelphia!
Peter Bourjos: Bourjos went 4-for-10 with two XBH! I SAID GET EXCITED
Cody Asche: Cody Asche is back, and better than ever! [Weeping, thrusts party hat at you] STILL NOT EXCITED? PUT THESE ON
Aaron Nola vs. Tyler Duffey, 8:10 p.m.
So, like the Phillies pitching staff, the Twins' pitchers are always 'bouncing back' (or at least trying to) from unmitigated disasters. Take Duffey, for instance. He barely made it into the fourth inning of his last start, when the Angels ate him alive (6 R, 4 ER, 6 H, 3 BB in 4.1 IP). With Phillies pitchers, this is where we point out how they *might* be able to come back from a start like that. But for opposing pitchers, the best advice here is to feast on them while they are weak. But this is the Phillies offense we're talking about, so they'll probably settle for a nice conversation with Duffey during BP and then gracefully lose three games in a row.
Nola threw 3.2 innings of his last start before getting pulled for giving up seven hits and four earned runs to the Blue Jays. He'll be looking to bounce back from that.
Adam Morgan vs. Kyle Gibson, 8:10 p.m.
Morgan had Diamondback baseballs clanging off every part of Citizens Bank Park in his last start, allowing ten hits, three home runs, and seven runs (four earned). That was more like the Morgan we've come to know, and shook off concern after his previous start on June 12, when he was remotely effective against the Nationals, that he'd been replaced by an android.
Having missed a lot of time from a sciatic nerve problem - and forcing the team to use Phil Huges as a starter again - Gibson's return this season has been gradual. But in his last start against the Yankees, he cruised through five whole innings before New York scored enough to keep the Twins in the 'L' column. The Phillies can wait out a pither for five innings, right? Oh god.
Jerad Eickhoff vs. Tommy Milone, 1:10 p.m.
Similarly to Gibson, Eickhoff saw success in his last appearance, until a certain point. By their third time through the order, the Diamondbacks had him figured out enough to score three runs (two were from a Paul Goldshmidt blast, but he did strike Goldschmidt out twice, too). Any amount of runs is enough to take down the Phillies, so really, this is all the pitchers' faults for not throwing shut-outs every time until the offense figures out hitting.
Milone was brought in recently to replace a demoted pitcher, Pat Dean, who lasted only 68 pitches and 2.1 innings against the Yankees. Milone is one of those guys who keeps looking good in the minors but shown no real ability to shut down big league hitters consistently, but there keeps being spots to fill on the Twins roster, so, here we are. Gonna be a real fun series, you guys, watching all of these bad Twins pitchers remember why they love baseball as the Phillies make them look like the mayors of Cooperstown.