With a sweep of the hapless Athletics, the Phillies completed a successful western road trip through Arizona and Oakland. They’ll return home to take on a divisional opponent which is doing pretty well in its own right.
Record: 46-26, First place in National League East
The last time they met
The Phillies visited Atlanta over Memorial Day weekend and split a four-game set. The series ended on an unfortunate note as a Sunday Night Baseball audience “enjoyed” a Dylan Covey vs. Spencer Strider “showdown” which went about as well as you would expect.
Given that Cristopher Sanchez looked good in his last start, can anyone explain why Covey is still on the Phillies’ roster?
The Braves have done well for themselves, going 14-5 since that series.
Still bottom feeders
The Braves have been winning a lot of games recently, but they haven’t been challenged much. In that 19-game span since the Phillies visited them, only three games were against a team with a winning record.
The Marlins have had the 3rd easiest schedule in all of MLB so far this year. Phillies have had the 9th toughest. Braves have had 19th toughest, Mets the 20th.https://t.co/3pNMin6grq— John Stolnis (@JohnStolnis) June 19, 2023
Over the past few years, the Braves have shown a remarkable ability to beat up on the lesser lights of baseball. If you try a bullpen game against them, they will absolutely tear it up on offense. Sure, beating up on bad games is what good teams do, and every win counts the same in the standings. But it will be worth watching to see what happens against a Phillies pitching staff that has been finally pitching to its potential. They (hopefully) won’t be seeing Covey this time around.
The Braves’ recent stretch of success has been powered by Eddie Rosario. You may remember Rosario as a solid hitter for the Twins a few years back. The Braves acquired him in a trade in 2021, and aside from a good playoff series against the Dodgers in 2021, he hasn’t done all that much in a Braves uniform. So naturally, he’s transformed into Kyle Schwarber this June.
As recently as June 1st, Rosario’s OPS was under .700 with four home runs. But he’s gone absolutely berserk this month and has homered in four straight games including two on Sunday.
As mentioned earlier, the Braves haven’t been facing the best teams the league has to offer. Is Rosario going to continue this hot streak now that he’ll be facing a better pitching staff?
I have to figure that Schwarber has taken notice that somebody is gunning for the NL Player of the Month award that he’s earned the past two Junes. Feels like we’re due for at least one leadoff home run from him this series.
The way Kyle schwarber turns into prime Barry bonds during the month of June needs to be studied pic.twitter.com/L55d7Rqv7R— Philly Sports Sufferer (@mccrystal_alex) June 17, 2023
Strider? I barely know her!
I don’t think anyone needs to be reminded of what happened the last time Spencer Strider pitched at Citizens Bank Park.
What’s that? You’d like to be reminded anyway. Sure, why not?
WELCOME BACK TO PHILLY #Braves— Oscar Budejen (@OscarBudejen) June 20, 2023
Game #3 #NLDS October 14th, 2022#Phillies 9 #Braves 1
WP: Nola (2-0) LP: Strider (0-1)
Strider 2.1 IP, 3 H, 5 R, 2 BB, 4 K
1 HR - Hoskins #RingTheBell #Phillies #MLB pic.twitter.com/JSdcTK7w0H
Strider did manage to earn a win the last time he faced the Phillies, but considering it was 7-0 before the second inning began, he wasn’t exactly pitching high-stress innings. I wonder if he’s been looking ahead to this game against the Phillies because he’s struggled in his past two starts, giving up 13 runs in nine innings.
Strider strikes out a lot of batters, but he’ll also walk his share. The Phillies haven’t always specialized in good, patient at bats this season, but they’ll need to do so on Tuesday night.
Smarty’s tournament of randomness
Folger’s “Coming Home for Christmas” commercial eked out a win over Jeanmar Gomez to advance.
Here’s the next second round matchup:
#4 Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham
Perhaps his portrayal of the porcine version of Spider-Man should have been our first indication that John Mulaney had a bit of a drug problem.
spider-man: into the spider-verse teaser clip, “meet spider-ham”;— loimf • ️ (@loimfy) June 11, 2023
official spider-ham theme song pic.twitter.com/byMhwWWx3i
#12 - The 1994 Phillies’ blue hats
The team considered them bad luck, but considering they’ve already advanced into the second round, perhaps the team was wrong in their assessment.
Who should advance to the final four?
Who should advance: Spider-Ham or the blue hats?
This poll is closed
#12 1994 blue hats
Father’s Day question
I got caught up in a debate over the weekend about Father’s Day.
A family with youngish children (grade school and below) was invited to the wife’s sister’s house for dinner on Father’s Day to celebrate with her parents. The husband declined the invitation because he had plans with his kids earlier in the day and thought he might be tired (and he didn’t really want to spend Father’s Day with his in-laws). The sister-in-law got upset about it.
Is the husband in the wrong or should he get to decide how he spends his Father’s Day without grief?
If Reed Richards, Hank Pym, and Hank McCoy were contestants on Jeopardy, who would win?
The Phillies have already shown they can beat good teams like the Diamondbacks and Dodgers, and they were able to hold their own against the Braves in Atlanta. The lineup will presumably have Bryce Harper, Nick Castellanos, and Darick Hall, so they’re as close to full strength as they’re going to get. It’s time to show that they’re serious about being a playoff team and win at least two out of three.