The Phillies: Who loses ten games in a row? Not this team. That's who.
The Giants: Coming off Wednesday's magical comeback win over the Pirates, the Giants are quietly chasing the Cubs for the sport's best record. And no one is really talking about it, they're still just gushing over the Cubs, me included. So the Giants have done it. They've out-underdogged the freaking Chicago Cubs, and you can just see where this is headed. I hate it. I hate the Giants. I hate all of this.
Jarrett Parker: The Giants offense is being powered by the same anonymous gallery that wins its division titles every even year. This narrative is stupid as hell, but what do you want me to say to you, Jarrett Parker (???) is 7-for-his-last-11, and because it's the Giants, six of the seven are singles. The other one is a double. God, I hate the Giants.
Brandon Belt: At least Belt is more of a real hitter, as his success has been a bit more sustained, with six home runs and 11 doubles in his last 24 games. He's hitting .302 with a .938 OPS on the season.
Mac Williamson: No. I don't care if he has four hits, including a home run, in his last three games. We're not doing this.
Cesar Hernandez: Hernandez has six hits in five games, one being a triple. That's the kind of output that gets you in the Giants lineup. I would not mind if Cesar Hernandez was in the Giants lineup.
Andres Blanco: If you had guessed that a 32-year-old utility bench player would be the beating heart of the 2016 Phillies offense, I would have probably said, "Yeah, that sounds about right." And it is.
Cody Asche: Not sure what happened to Asche when he wasn't here, but whatever it was, it has resulted in him out-doubling Blanco lately, which is difficult to do. He's got four of them in his last seven games, as well as two home runs.
Zach Eflin vs. Jake Peavy, 10:15 p.m.
Peavy is in the middle of "figuring it all out," whatever the hell that means, so he's got one of those ridonkulous splits going on, having started the season with an 8.21 ERA through eight starts that we all laughed at, and now having a 1.76 ERA through his last five starts that we are all ominously quiet about. He did just get ripped off in a "Ponzi-like" scheme, though. Oof.
Eflin is looking like he'll stick around even after Vince Velasquez comes back, which is an encouraging development for the 22-year-old. Looking at the numbers, you would not have assumed such action would be taken, given that Eflin has only thrown 8.1 innings between two starts and allowed ten earned runs and three home runs. But then you remember how poorly things have gone for Adam Morgan.
Jeremy Hellickson vs. Madison Bumgarner, 10:05 p.m.
Cripes alive, what are we even doing.
Former trade chip Hellickson threw a pretty efficient start last time out against the Diamondbacks, allowing only three earned runs in what became just another part of the nine-loss blur from which the Phillies only recently emerged. Striking out six and walking none, there's a chance that sort of behavior continues. Of course, prior to that start, he was getting either rocked or exhausted by opposing lineups, so the Phillies are just hoping he can get through enough innings that the tired bullpen doesn't have to come out and implode.
Meanwhile, Madison Bumgarner's biggest problem right now is figuring out how to get into the Home Run Derby. Go to hell, the Giants.
Aaron Nola vs. Johnny Cueto, 4:05 p.m.
First, we started to question Maikel Franco's future with the Phillies. Next, doubts about Nola started to trickle in. These doubts were not soothed by Nola getting punched repeatedly by one of the most paper-thin offenses in baseball in Minnesota. So, good luck against an offense that finds a way to win with Mac Williamson starting in the outfield, Aaron. We're all rooting for you.
Meanwhile, Johnny Cueto's biggest problem right now is making the All-Star team, a novelty that has eluded him in past years. Are you in hell yet, the Giants? If not, please go there. Thanks.
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