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Good times, bad time: Phillies vs. Dodgers series preview

Success has proven fleeting for the 2023 Phillies

MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at Los Angeles Dodgers
The good times for the Phillies are usually followed by bad times
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

With Thursday’s smoke-delayed, come-from-behind win, the Phillies have now won five games in a row. Does that mean they’ve turned the corner, and we’ll forevermore get the playoff contender that we were promised before the season started?

On two previous occasions this season, the Phillies have gone on winning streaks of four games or more. Each time, I wondered if the Phillies had found their stride, and each time the Phillies followed with an extended losing streak that definitively answered that question.

With the Dodgers coming to town, we’ll quickly find out if the Phillies have indeed found themselves, or if they were just taking advantage of lesser opponents and will be smacked into reality by one of the better teams in the league.

Los Angeles Dodgers

Record: 36-27, Second place in National League West (1.5 games back)

The last time they met

Remember those losing streaks I mentioned before? The last Dodgers series was smack in the middle of one of them. The Phillies looked as dreadful as a team can look, as the Dodgers scored 13 runs in each of the first two games, and then Aaron Nola and Craig Kimbrel (with a big help from Edmundo Sosa’s fielding error) squandered a 5-0 lead in the finale and lost in ten innings.

Since then?

The Dodgers’ domination in May didn’t end with the Phillies series, as they put up an 18-10 record in the month. However, the team has scuffled a bit since the calendar turned to June. They had lost four in a row before salvaging a win against the Reds on Thursday.

Who’s cold?

Max Muncy did some major damage against the Phillies’ pitching staff last month, but he has been struggling over the past two weeks with a .195 batting average.

Road woes

The Dodgers have been near unbeatable at Dodger Stadium, but if you take them out of Los Angeles, they become far less formidable. They are 15-17 on the road, mostly due to their pitching staff which has a 5.84 ERA in away games.

Two of the starters in this series have been among the worst offenders. Friday’s starter is rookie Michael Grove, with a 15.63 road ERA (To be fair, he hasn’t been especially good at home either), and Sunday’s starter Julio Urias has a 7.61 road mark.

Although they swept the series, the Phillies’ hitters certainly didn’t bludgeon an underwhelming Tigers pitching staff. 1-0 wins and last-inning comebacks are fun and all, but maybe give the pitchers some margin for error?

Smarty’s tournament of randomness

Eric Bruntlett’s unassisted triple play crushed Cadbury Creme Eggs and has gained some real momentum heading into the final four.

That brings us to our next second round matchup:

#7 - Folger’s “Coming Home for Christmas” commercial

The commercial in the tournament was an homage to another Folger’s ad from the 1980’s:

When making the new commercial, it’s like some higher-up saw the original, liked it, but thought it could really use some sexual tension to spice things up.

#15 - Jeanmar Gomez

You didn’t like him as the Phillies’ closer, but you liked him better than the T-1000! Can Jeanmar close out this matchup like he closed out 37 games for the 2016 Phils?


Who should advance: Folgers or Jeanmar Gomez?

This poll is closed

  • 62%
    #7 - Folger’s Coming Home for Christmas
    (41 votes)
  • 37%
    #15 - Jeanmar Gomez
    (25 votes)
66 votes total Vote Now

Bonus Jeanmar Gomez trivia

In addition to Jeanmar’s 37, four other pitchers earned saves for the 2016 Phils. Name at least two of them.

As always, it is heavily discouraged to just look up the answer. The idea is to reward weirdly specific retained memories or educated guesses.

Non-Phillies thought

It may be a coincidence, but my throat feels inflamed and I wonder if that is due to the whole smoke situation. I was barely outside the past few days, so it’s possible I’m just getting sick with COVID or something.

Closing thought

It would be sweet if the Phillies continued to win games now that the schedule has taken a much more difficult turn. And as I’ve mentioned, the Dodgers should be beatable at Citizens Bank Park. But would anyone really be surprised if the Phillies lost all three games this weekend?

Bi-Weekly Report Card: How Do They Matchup for the Postseason?

Predicting the Phillies’ 2023 Wild Card playoff roster

Let’s go full overreaction on Orion Kerkering