If there’s something that will get the Phillies’ minds off the terrific beating they took from the Cardinals on Sunday, and the fact that the team is cool watching fans get beaned by foul balls until forever, it’s a quick two-day sojourn to Chicago. There, they will play the White Sox, a team from Chicago that is not in the middle of steamrolling their league on the way to the playoffs (They are 8-10 this month). The low bar for baseball over the next two nights shall result in some really good stuff out there.
The White Sox
Maybe... maybe they should be looking ahead after all.
Jose Abreu: What, Jose Abreu, you think because you’re a powerful young star, your home runs are fusing the bond between you and the son from whom you were heartbreakingly separated since December? Well. It sounds like they are. So. Good job.
Tim Anderson: People are losing their minds because this rookie is mixing some walks in with his doubles off the wall. This narrative is simply a weaker iteration of our Odubel Herrera narrative for the season. Nice try, White Sox.
Tim Anderson:— Christopher Kamka (@ckamka) August 18, 2016
First 47 games: 207 PA, 2 BB, 59 K
Last 10 games: 44 PA, 5 BB, 13 K#WhiteSox
Todd Frazier: With Abreu’s son and Frazier’s touching relationship with the Reds’ bat boy, the White Sox are winning baseball’s good will contest. Thank goodness the team is so bad.
Cesar Hernandez: For whatever reason and for however long, Hernandez is the Phillies best offensive player? I can’t even type that sentence with a period. It refuses to be declarative. Now he has two home runs in his last four games, after having not another one since June 14, over two months ago.
Tommy Joseph: Only 10 AB in the last week, but TJ has four hits, including a double and a home run.
Maikel Franco: Riding a five-game hit streak, Franco looks to, um. I mean. He looks to probably get more hits. Probably wants to extend that streak. Probably likes how extra base hits feel off his bat.
Jake Thompson vs. Carlos Rodon, 8:10 p.m.
“Tim Anderson?” “Jake Thompson?” What happened to baseball names? Remember when we had “Mysterious Walker” and “Mordecai Peter Centennial Brown?” Of course you don’t, that was decades before any of us were born.
Anyways. Three starts into his big league career, Thompson has yet to forge past five straight innings. Last time, he survived throwing 103 pitches, but still gave up five earned runs, watching that three-game ERA bounce back up to 8.79. His walk total (9) almost matching his strikeout total (11) isn’t helping.
Rodon, on the other hand, came back from a DL stint with an effective change-up. In his last three starts, all of which lasted six innings, he’s only allowed four earned runs, five walks, and zero homers. The Phillies’ biggest power threat at the moment is Cesar Hernandez, so his pristine homerless streak may be able to stay intact.
Jerad Eickhoff vs. James Shields, 8:10 p.m.
Eickhoff’s routine hell ride that is the sixth inning of an appearance was not so bad his last time out. He managed to work around a lead-off double and an intentional walk to help keep the Phillies from getting swept by the Dodgers. It was an excellent attempt at reaching that promised land of a seven-inning start (that ultimately fell short).
Holy crap, Shields’ August has been as awful and insufferable as the month of August itself. His best start of the month was a five-inning disaster in which he allowed six earned runs, nine hits, two walks, and a hit batsman. His follow-up appearance lasted way less than two innings and saw him surrender four home runs. If there’s one thing the Phillies offense is good for, it’s “opposing pitcher confidence,” so maybe this is the boost Shields needs to turn things around.
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