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Hittin’ Season #559: Will L.A. be a springboard for the Phillies?

After outplaying the Dodgers for most of last weekend, what’s next for the Phillies?

MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at Los Angeles Dodgers Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

To say the Phillies’ offensive explosion this weekend in Los Angeles was unexpected is an understatement. Hitters pounded previously unhittable Dodger pitching and came within one strike of a clean, four-game sweep of the best team in baseball, a heart-breaking loss that partially soured an otherwise eye-opening series out west.

How unlikely was it?

That stat, of course, came before the fourth game, although the Phils’ took a quick 4-0 lead in that one but couldn’t hold on. The question is, was this the real Phillies, or did the Dodgers take them too lightly?

We’ll find out a lot this week as the Phils welcome the San Diego Padres in for three games starting tonight, and then L.A. comes to town for a three-game rematch, a series in which they will undoubtedly be looking for some payback. The Friars have gotten off to a hot start and are tied with the Dodgers atop the NL West, with mere percentage points separating the two.

San Diego brings a coulda-been Phillie Manny Machado to town. Machado leads all of baseball with 2.8 fWAR, sporting a .359/.443/.586 slash line with 7 HRs, 23 RBIs, 27 runs scored and his usual sterling defense. These next six games should give us a really good insight into whether the inconsistent Phils we saw before last week are the real thing, or whether the team flipped a switch in L.A.

On the latest episode of Hittin’ Season, Liz Roscher of Yahoo! Sports, Baseball Prospectus’ Justin Klugh & I chatted about the Dodgers series, the incredible offense and even more incredible Bryce Harper, the on-again bullpen issues, and lots more!