The Phillies’ streak of series wins came to a spectacular end in Los Angeles, where the pitching staff spent three days getting lit up by Dodgers hitters. Thanks to that shellacking, they now lead the league in one unfortunate category.
The Phillies left Los Angeles with the highest team ERA in the National League (5.13).— Corey Seidman (@CSeidmanNBCS) May 4, 2023
In their next 3 series, they face the dangerous offenses of the Red Sox and Blue Jays, then go to Coors Field.
That seems bad.
The Phillies’ pitching staff is not as bad as it looked in LA, but they’re going to have to prove that this weekend as they go against a team and lineup that has been on fire.
Record: 19-14, Third place in American League East (7.5 games back)
The last time they met
The Phillies visited Boston in July 2021, and after a poor Vince Velasquez start led to an 11-5 loss in the opener, the Phillies rebounded to win the next two. It certainly helped that they got to face Nick Pivetta in one of those games.
What’s the deal with the Red Sox?
The Red Sox are off to a good start - although thanks to the Rays, they’re still 7.5 games back in the division - mostly due to their offense. They rank second in the AL in scoring thanks to strong showings from Rafael Devers (10 home runs) and Jarren Duran (.444 on-base percentage in 16 games since replacing the injured Adam Duvall in centerfield).
They spent the past four days doing just about anything they wanted to the Blue Jays pitching staff.
The Red Sox have 58 (!!) hits in this series against the Blue Jays.— Steve Perrault (@Steve_Perrault) May 5, 2023
However, the Boston pitching staff hasn’t been nearly as good. The rotation is filled with guys you’ve heard of, only none of them are having good years. Tanner Houck, Chris Sale, and Corey Kluber all have ERAs over 5.
Bring on the slugfests
Based on the recent performances by the teams’ starting pitchers, we should probably expect a lot of runs to be scored. Two of the games started after 10 PM, so everyone might not realize just how awful the Phillies’ pitching was in Los Angeles, but it was really bad.
The Phillies were outscored 36-11 in LA.— schmenkman (@tgpschmenk) May 4, 2023
It was only the second time they were outscored by 25 in a series in the last 60 years.
And they were outscored by 25 in a 3-game series for:
a) only the 11th time in their history and
b) the first time in 85 years
Is there hope that things will turn around? Yes, but I’ll admit I’m not as confident as I should be.
I didn’t love the Taijuan Walker signing when it happened, but I certainly didn’t expect him to be this bad. And the team can talk about how Aaron Nola is capable of pitching effectively with reduced velocity, but we’re going to need to see more evidence of that. As for Matt Strahm, his last start showed that maybe it wouldn’t be a complete travesty if he’s moved to the bullpen upon Ranger Suarez’s return. (And please hurry back, Ranger!)
Smarty’s tournament of randomness
The third seeded Cadbury Creme Eggs made easy work of the Washington Nationals’ hats to advance to the next round. That brings up the next matchup:
#1 The “oo-wah-ah-ah-ah” sound from Disturbed’s “Down with the Sickness”
You know the sound. You love the sound. If you’ve ever listened to the song more than once, you’ve undoubtedly tried to make the sound. Would I listen to an entire album of just that sound? Maybe?
#16 Daniel Jones
It doesn’t seem possible that a “poor man’s Eli Manning” could exist, yet here we are. There are people who believe he is as good as Jalen Hurts. Those people are very stupid.
Here’s a clip of his famous faceplant against the Eagles:
Who should advance? You decide!
Who should advance: Disturbed sound or Daniel Jones
This poll is closed
#1 Disturbed sound
#16 Daniel Jones
Smarty opines about the 76ers
Did game two of the Sixers’ series against the Celtics suck? Yes, it sucked royally. But let’s clear up some misconceptions:
- The blowout win does not portend how the rest of the series will go. Nobody wants to see their team blown out, but no matter how lopsided the score is, it only counts as one win. Think back to the 2019 Eastern conference semi-finals when the Sixers beat the Raptors by 21 in game three and looked like they had seized control of the series. They ended up losing the next game and then the series.
- Joel Embiid should not have sat out. It was beneficial for him to knock some of the rust off in a game which the Sixers had almost no chance of winning.
- The team is not better off without Embiid in the lineup. Yes, James Harden and others played very well without Embiid in game one. Yes, the Sixers have had a strong record without Embiid this year. But they also had a very strong record with him, and if you think this team has any chance of winning the series without him, you are delusional.
The Pennsylvania Lottery needs to stop making commercials. The woman in this commercial somehow makes me miss the groundhog, and I assure you, I can’t stand the groundhog.
Lady, nobody loves the lottery that much. And if by some chance you do actually love it to the point where you’re doing your nails in lottery themes, you might have a gambling problem.
The good news is that the Phillies’ pitching was so bad against the Dodgers, that it is almost impossible that they don’t improve going forward. But that improvement might not happen until after the Red Sox and their red-hot offense leave town.