The last time Vince Velasquez pitched, the Phillies scored 20 runs. Even weirder, a starting pitcher was allowed to go six innings. Despite a slow start, Velasquez managed to punch through six frames, something he only managed to do last season in five of 15 starts (and only lasting 2.2 innings in his 2018 debut). A more tempered Gabe Kapler may be the difference, as would Velasquez keeping a lid on his pitch count in the first few innings.
Fortunately, tonight’s match-up is the Rays, the next stop of the Phillies’ pretty cushy early season schedule (They go Braves-Mets-Marlins-Reds-Rays-Braves-Pirates; all teams that are bad or that will be bad but aren’t yet). Tampa starter Jake Faria has never faced any of the Phillies’ hitters, and in two starts this season has logged a 14.29 ERA.
Vince Velasquez gets the start in game one of an Interleague series with the Rays in St. Pete.— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) April 13, 2018
Here's what our lineup will look like. #BeBold pic.twitter.com/NHZ3HmgyQe