Phillies’ baseball seems to be fun again, doesn’t it?
The Phillies kicked off their season with a fun walk-off win Thursday afternoon. Aaron Nola shined until his last pitch, which was a costly mistake to Pablo Sandoval. The bullpen kept the scoresheet clean though, leading to Jean Segura’s game-winning base hit down the line.
Fast forward to the weekend. Zack Wheeler showed his ability to be the Phillies’ second ace, tossing ten strikeouts in seven scoreless, one-hit innings. Oh, let’s not forget to mention that he picked up two hits and two RBI on his own, as well. Nonetheless, Philadelphia’s bullpen stayed flawless in the 4-0 shutout win. Zach Eflin then followed him up with seven, one-run innings of his own to solidify the Phillies’ sweep of the Braves.
Jacob deGrom didn’t even get in the way. The two-time Cy Young Award winner tossed a gem, but the Phillies rallied in the eighth inning. All of the sudden, Philadelphia finds itself at 4-0 after the 5-3 win Monday night.
Up next, the Phillies put Chase Anderson on the mound as they look to get back into their winning ways. The first pitch is slated for 7:05 in Philadelphia, with coverage beginning at 6:30 on NBC Sports Philadelphia. The Phillies are +120 Moneyline underdogs with the over/under set at eight runs.
“He made his debut with Arizona in 2014 and pitched two successful seasons before being traded in January 2016 to the Brewers for, ironically, Jean Segura. Anderson pitched for Toronto last season, where he went 1-2 in seven starts with a 7.22 ERA. Previously, Anderson had pitched for a combined 3.83 ERA during his four-year stretch in Milwaukee. Given just how different his 2020 stats are from the previous years, it is safe to say the Phillies will likely get something closer to the 2016-19 version of Anderson.”
In his career, Anderson has made eight starts against the Mets. During those games, he’s gathered a 2-3 record with a 4.58 ERA. In those eight starts, he’s averaged about five strikeouts a game as well in the 39.1 total innings pitched. Against the Mets’ new and improved powerhouse of a batting lineup, Anderson will need to keep things clean for at least five innings. The Phillies’ new and improved bullpen has been strong so far this season, and can likely comfortably pick up where he leaves off if Anderson can go at least five innings.
Marcus Stroman was one of the first big additions to the Mets as they began their total rebuild. Prior to being traded to New York in 2019, Stroman was wheeling and dealing with the Toronto Blue Jays. While with Toronto, he pitched in 137 games in six seasons, earning a 3.76 ERA and 635 strikeouts. Before the 2019 trade deadline, he was sent to the Mets for Simeon Woods Richardson (minors) and Anthony Kay after being named a 2019 All-Star.
Prior to joining New York, Stroman had the Phillies’ number. He pitched in 9.2 total innings and only allowed two runs. However, in 2019, the Phillies reversed the rolls. He’s only lasted a total of ten innings in two starts against Philadelphia. In these games, he’s allowed seven runs and 17 hits en route to a 5.40 ERA. If the Phillies’ bats continue this success, Chase Anderson can relax a bit and get eased into this season.
Storyline to Watch:
It’s easy to sit here and say that the Phillies bats are the main focus of every game. However, this is another “back-to-back,” the second of the Phillies’ season. Jose Alvarado, and Connor Brogdon each have done their fair share of pitching so far, so it’s likely that each of these guys is unavailable for Tuesday night if they need someone else to eat a middle inning or two, and then need a late-inning like those two.
Along with this, Chase Anderson is not expected to go as deep as Nola, Wheeler, and Eflin have. If his pitch count creeps up and he gets pulled early into the game, the Phillies could get their second look at their bullpen depth.
Assuming that Anderson does not go eight or nine innings, we’re likely going to see some new names make an appearance. Depending on the flow of the game, manager Joe Girardi could get some other guys some work. The likings of David Hale, and even Vince Velasquez have yet to make an appearance and could show face Tuesday night.
These depth guys will be the key to the Phillies’ success in the long run. Keep an eye on how they perform if their numbers are called.
Photo Credit: Lawrence Iles/Icon Sportswire