The Phillies: Skidding into San Francisco after a four-game sweep by the Diamondbacks, the Phillies spent the weekend failing to evade the Giants. They look to find their footing against Arizona, a team that just swept them in four games.
The Diamondbacks: Arizona blew a four-run lead in Denver, because they're the kind of team that will do that. But they did it at the end of would would have been the greatest road trip in the history of the franchise, so they're hot. So either the Diamondbacks are an eminently beatable team, still better than the Phillies, or they're a hot team that will definitely be better than the Phillies. Either way, you can see this one coming. At least Monday is "Dog Days of Summer" night at Chase Field, and we can look at dogs while the Phillies lose a ball game in the background.
Paul Goldschmidt: You don't need to shrink the sample size for Goldschmidt to be the best hitter on the team. He just is. And there he was, last week, knocking ten hits and drawing six walks in six games.
Jake Lamb: The Diamondbacks owe a recent lead change to the squinting, cartoon head of their third baseman.
Jean Segura: Segura's last seven days haven't been too much different from Goldschmidt's, as he, too, has ten hits including three XBH in that span. But he's got more walks (8), scored more runs (11), and stolen more bases (5) in that time than Goldschmidt, making him the clear Arizona first baseman of the future. Your time is over, Goldschmidt. Might as well just switch teams this week, regardless of who you're playing. Oh look; it's the Phillies.
Peter Bourjos: What can you say at this point? The man had another multi-hit game Sunday night and he was the first one up the steps when Johnny Cueto started "protecting his teammates." Just think if he was on a team with other effective players.
Cameron Rupp: Mount up, hoss, because this double barreled shotgun has three home runs and an .842 SLG in his last 19 games. Again, feels like the smaller parts of the this offense work from time to time. Unfortunately, they're the only parts working when they do.
Maikel Franco: No, Franco has not been backpacking through Europe for most of the year; he's been here, hitting .240 (the fifth highest BA on the team). It doesn't take much to start hoping he's on his way back, though, and the last week of him getting on base half the time, logging a home run, double, triple, and seven walks, has just been the brightest, shiniest sign that's on his way back.
Vince Velasquez vs. Robbie Ray, 9:40 p.m.
Yes, no spit take necessary - the Phillies will be facing the same part of the Diamondbacks rotation that erased them the last time out. But the same cannot be said for Arizona, who will face a rested, furious Velasquez, who demanded he return after only one rehab start from his strained bicep, and the Phillies had no choice but to wilt before him and allow the passage of his decrees. He hit 97 m.p.h. with Lehigh Valley, so he's fine. He's fine.
People seem to be perplexed by Ray's high ERA but high SO, and low BB. But the truth is, why would that matter, because you only need about a 6.75 ERA to hold the Phillies back anyway.
Jerad Eickhoff vs. Zack Greinke, 9:40 p.m.
Clearly, three wins in their last 16 games means something is going right for this Phillies team! That something is Jerad Eickhoff, who is throwing some quality starts out there at a rate his rotation mates just can't match ("sometimes"). He's got the lowest ERA of any starter in the last month (2.65 in 37.1 IP) and is just about on the cusp of being the one we put a whole bunch of pressure on before he crumbles and dies.
Of course, Arizona has won Greinke's last eight starts. And in his last start, he allowed only three hits in eight innings vs. the Phillies. And he just became the fifth pitcher in D-Backs history to steal a base. But wait until he gets a load of Peter Bourjos!
Zach Eflin vs. Archie Bradley, 3:40 p.m.
Has Eflin already made two starts? Where does the time go? If current trends continue, the 22-year-old will last more innings, strike out more batters, allow fewer runs and hits, face a couple more hitters and throw several extra pitches on Tuesday. The first 3.0+ IP appearance of his life came against the Diamondbacks, too, remember.
The Phillies are the reason Bradley's ERA went from 5.66 to 4.83 the last time he pitched. His biggest challenge on Wednesday will be just checking out the order in which the Phillies will not be scoring on him again.
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