The Phillies and Braves, for better or worse, are back at it again this evening for the series finale. What can we expect at this point? Literally anything.
What happened last night? No idea. Ranger Suarez did Ranger Suarez things, they somehow made fielding look like solving the Da Vinci Code, and fumbled the game in the most catastrophic sense possible.
How a ball can be missed from home to second is wild. How it can then slip through the hands of TWO fielders behind is just unfathomable. No words.
Aaron Nola (1-4, 3.96 ERA) vs Kyle Wright (4-2, 2.49 ERA)
Nola heads to the mound after pretty disappointing game against the Dodgers, where he gave up 4 runs in 5 innings. The 28-year-old has pitched well this season and can still dig deep into games routinely. The Braves offense has been inconsistent against the Phils. it’s just that the Phillies have a tendency to gift them runs on a silver platter. The Braves rank 18th in the league in hits and 16th in runs, portraying a winnable affair for Nola, who ranks 14th in WHIP and is striking out 11 batters every nine innings.
Facing him will be Kyle Wright, who pitched a run-less game against the Marlins last time out. He’s been outstanding this season, striking out 10.7 batters per nine innings and only allowing a .206 batting average. The worry here is that the Phils have been so undisciplined defensively that they’ve squandered any decent lead they’ve had this series. Wright may not allow them the luxury to build up that breathing room to begin with.
The two teams are pretty much even here, but it’s hard to back the Phils after the most chaotic series in the history of baseball (probably). If the pitching matchup becomes a stalemate, which is likely, it’s going to come down to offense and fielding (naturally). The Phillies have such a strong lack of discipline when it comes to errors and fielding right now that it’s hard to back them. Take the Braves.
AP Photo/John Bazemore