The Phillies: It was nice to stop after beating the Brewers yesterday and pat the Phillies on the back a little while. They have been consistently hitting home runs of late, just never a whole lot at once or from any one person in particular. Tommy Joseph and Cameron Rupp are providing some pop, Maikel Franco could be on the up-and-up, Odubel Herrera had a four-hit game, and everyone's feeling better than they should about splitting a series with the Brewers when suddenly BAM
Cubs (@Cubs) June 4, 2016
These guys again.
The Cubs: Chicago had only just released their mandibles from around the Phillies' jugular and clamped them down on the Dodgers and Diamondbacks, but it looks like, according to this schedule I triple-checked and made a few poorly received phone calls about in regards to their accuracy, they do have to come to Philadelphia now and play the Phillies again for the fourth, fifth, and sixth times. At least they'll be playing the games at a sane time of day, none of this 2:20 p.m. crap that disrupts everybody's food comas.
Anthony Rizzo - Two doubles, two home runs, and three walks in 21 AB over the last full week while reminding us all of the magic of friendship.
Kris Bryant - Bryant homered twice in the last week, too, but he also struck out ten times (as opposed to Rizzo's two). Sure, let's expand sample size and just say he's got six home runs in about two weeks. He's also 4-for-10 against the Phillies this year with a home run. Someone please stop these numbers from coming out of my mouth.
Javier Baez - Baez is one of those hitters who wants to get as far away as possible from his bat after he's done with it, as he did with a low flip against Arizona on Sunday.
Tommy Joseph -
Pete Mackanin says Ryan Howard won't start for next 3 or 4 days to "clear his head " That break could get longer if Tommy Joseph hits— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) June 1, 2016
Kid is 7-for-his-last-16, swiftly and easily moving up the Phillies home run leader board. He's produced more potently in eight at-bats than Ryan Howard could in his last 46. He's hitting.
Cameron Rupp - The Phillies have hit... 12 home runs in the last week? Is that right? Rupp, along with Joseph and Tyler Goeddel, each have two. Rupp's tend to land the furthest away.
Maikel Franco - Let's get Maikel back in the mix here, as the lineup has missed his contributions and if things are heating up, he's going to be a part of it.
Jon Lester vs. Adam Morgan - Tonight, 7:05 p.m.
Didn't we do this already?
Recapping Adam Morgan's performance vs Cubs.... pic.twitter.com/SJZGcwuc5n— Jon Johnson (@jonjohnsonwip) May 27, 2016
Morgan's last few starts have not been fun to mark on the calendar. He can't seem to stop leaving pitches up, he can't seem to get past the sixth inning, and if the recent past is any indication, he finds the Cubs' lineup particularly vexing. This is the sort of thing that doesn't go well. With somebody like Zach Eflin pitching a hole in the International League, it's easy to see Morgan's chance reaching its conclusion.
Kyle Hendricks vs. Jerad Eickhoff - Tuesday, 7:05 p.m.
The last time Hendricks took on the Phillies, he threw a complete game then took his own family as well as the family of Cubs reliever Justin Grimm out to dinner and just had a great old time.
The last time Jerad Eickhoff took the mound, he got pegged in the ankle with a line drive. Then he gave up a home run to Chris Carter. Then he stood in the rain and watched through the front window of a restaurant as the Hendricks and Grimm families had a night none of them would ever forget. Then he looked down and realized he was just holding a leash; his puppy was nowhere to be seen.
Jason Hammel vs. Vince Velasquez - Wednesday, 12:05 p.m.
UPDATE: The prolific Al Yellon of Bleed Cubbie Blue informs us that despite Hammel being listed on the Probable Pitchers page, it will actually be John Lackey that day. Hooray!
In his single start against the Phillies this year, Lackey went seven innings, allowed four hits, four walks, one run on a solo shot via Tyler Goeddel, and six K's. The Cubs won, 7-2. He celebrated by going to Arizona and shutting out the Diamondbacks for 6.2 innings 9 K's and 2 BB. Now he's here. It's probably going to suck.
Maybe the Phillies can take advantage of his penchant for walks? They won't just be able to trot that homer-hitting offense they now have and will never regress from, as Lackey has only allowed more than one home run in a game once this season, in his first start. So the Phillies will have to rely on their keen at-bats and base running prowess to pull this one off.
It seems like most members of the Cubs rotation have had success against the Phillies, but Jason Hammel is the exception because the Phillies
lit him up with a nuanced one-two punch of reaching base through disciplined at-bats and driving in runs with well-struck extra base hits haven't faced him yet. Hammel only allowed one hit in his last start against the Dodgers, but left after only two innings in his previous appearance due to a cramping hamstring. The Cubs were worried it was a deeper issue but then he came back and, you know, one-hit the Dodgers.
It's been nice to see some younger Phillies pulling out of their respective tailspins in the last 48 hours, but Velasquez is still in the woods. In his last start, he was upgraded on the Frustrated Young Starter Index from "can't get out of the fifth" to "argument with manager over passage of baseball." Pete Mackanin said everything was cool, so now all Velasquez has to do is the unfortunate task of working through some struggles while facing the sport's most dangerous lineup.
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