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Phillies kick off slate of NL West teams with those awful, awful Giants

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The Phillies will poke their heads briefly into the NL West for the next few days.

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The Phillies: Not a lot to see here, folks. The non-trading, non-promoting Phillies are pretty much the same as they were yesterday, which makes them the only team in MLB who can say that, by my approximation.

The Giants: Who'd the Giants get yesterday? Matt Moore and Will Smith? Oh gosh I'm so jealous. I'll bet experts are saying these are exactly the kind of stupid little moves that win championships. I'll bet Smith strikes out Jonathan Lucroy to win the World Series. God, I hate baseball.

Heavy Hitters

Madison Bumgarner: I'm not being cute. In the last week, and also for all time, Bumgarner is one of the Giants' most effective hitters, because his consistently generated offense comes from a place where "nothing" would be an acceptable output. He has two hits in his last two games, including a double. Imagine if somebody on the Phillies hit a double. That's two bases. And I don't even mean a pitcher, just, like, a regular guy.

Conor Gillaspie: "Conor Gillaspie homers in loss." "Conor Gillaspie delivers three-run home run off the bench." "Conor Gillaspie knocks in team's only run." Hoping for some headlines more akin to "Experts baffled as Conor Gillaspie explodes in a cloud of confetti during key moment in game" this week.

Buster Posey: Yeah, duh.

Cesar Hernandez: Look, I don't actually think Hernandez is a very good ball player. But when you look at those numbers, it's obvious the angle the ball takes after he drives it into the ground has been blessed with a multitude of good luck recently. When his offensive numbers spike like this (seven hits and nine walks in his last six games), just remember what he looks like running the bases, and you'll remember his actual ceiling.

Aaron Altherr: Three hits in four games, including a home run? Time to declare this kid the next coming of christ and call it a day!

Ryan Howard: Howard leads the team in extra base hits over the last week! With two. He has two. Also, so does Tommy Joseph. I guess that means I should list him here, as well.

Tommy Joseph: There we go.

Probable Pitchers

Madison Bumgarner vs. Zach Eflin, 7:05 p.m.

Look at this freaking slate of starters these poor young Phillies arms have to go against. What the hell are we supposed to do with this. Eflin's just trying to get back on track after getting flattened with seven earned runs and nine hits in his last start, and Bumgarner's going to come out blowing kisses to everybody and probably hit a two-run double at some point.

Johnny Cueto vs. Aaron Nola, 7:05 p.m.

And then Cueto on Wednesday! He's in a crap mood because the Royals didn't invite him along to the White House, and he got beaten up in his last start, too, only lasting five innings. That's the kind of performance Nola could actually compete with right now, but if Cueto is facing the Phillies lineup, he's in a prime position to take his aggression out on someone. And Jason LaRue isn't around for him to kick anymore, so he'll probably just settle for the Phillies offense.

Jeff Samardzija vs. Vince Velasquez, 1:05 p.m.

At least Samardzija has a 4.30 ERA and has allowed the most home runs on the team with 19. He's also second in walks behind Bumgarner with 34, but this feels more like a case of exposure than weakness. I don't know, I can see him coming out and having what will be called a "bounce back" game, since he just got tagged for seven hits and four runs in six innings in his last start.

Meanwhile, Vinny will be so furious at the thought of the Phillies potentially trading him that he'll put a 97 m.p.h. heater in someone's back. But it'll be, like, a guy from the Phillies front office.

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