Series Preview: Phillies need a Giant boost against San Francisco

Aaron Nola Phillies
Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Aaron Nola (27) throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Los Angeles, Sunday, May 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

First and foremost Happy Memorial Day and thank you to all of those who have served and given their lives for the freedoms of the United States.

As Memorial Day Weekend is upon us, there is not much left to say about the Phillies. A team that headed into a season with playoff expectations, the Phillies have left fans uninspired and deflated. The Phils are 10.5 games back of the New York Mets for first place in the National League East. With old friend Gabe Kapler heading into town for a three-game series and Joe Girardi seemingly still in command, the Phillies need to turn things around before it’s too late.

The Return of the Mick

There is some good news coming out of Philadelphia this Memorial Day Weekend. Mickey Moniak has been activated and promoted back to the Phillies. Mickey went 13 for 33 in his rehab assignments in the minors. Five of his thirteen hits were for extra bases, and it was nice to see him dominate minor league pitching. Now that he has returned to Philly let’s hope he can continue what he started in Spring Training and take the starting centerfield job. Less Odubel and more Moniak is what the team needs moving forward.

Do Not Awake the Sleeping Giants

The San Francisco Giants were the best team in baseball last season and finished with a league-best 107-55 record. The Giants upset the Los Angeles Dodgers to win the NL West but ultimately fell to their rivals in the NL Divisional series. Heading into this series with the Phillies, the Giants are currently sitting at 25-21. They are in third place in the NL West and are in the middle of the wild card hunt.

This is a team that the Phillies will need to overtake if they wish to make the postseason for the first time since 2011. The Giants have been what their record shows, a slightly above-average club. The Phillies need to show they are on this team’s level, or at the very least close to it. Do not allow the 2021 Giants club to come alive this week in Philly. Or maybe they should if that leads to the end of a particular manager’s reign in Philadelphia.

Probable Pitching Matchups

Game 1:
Kyle Gibson (3-2, 3.94 ERA) vs Logan Webb (5-1, 3.54 ERA)

At the start of the season, Kyle Gibson looked like the best pitcher on the Phillies. He was efficient and proved quality every time he stepped on the mound. Excluding a rough outing against the Dodgers, Gibson has been solid thus far in 2022 and has provided much-needed length in his starts. Gibson will look to continue his efficient start against the Giants on Monday. Gibson matches up well against San Fran and outside of Joc Pederson, they lack true power hitters in their lineup. Drawing weak contact and keeping the ball in the yard will be huge for Kyle and the Phillies in the first game.

Game 2:
Ranger Suarez (4-3, 4.74 ERA) vs Jakob Junis (2-1, 2.76 ERA)

Whether or not last season was just an epic outlier for Ranger Suarez or not the Phillies need him to find himself as their fifth starter. Suarez was the Swiss Army knife for the Phillies pitching staff last season but since becoming a starter exclusively, Ranger has not found the same success. Despite some bad breaks and poor defense behind him, Suarez has not been as impressive as he was last season. The Phillies need their young lefty to continue to develop and grow as a big-league starter. Suarez has a chance to lock down the Giants lineup if he locates his pitches and avoids making a big mistake.

Game 3:

Aaron Nola (2-4, 3.56 ERA) vs Carlos Rodon (4-4, 3.60 ERA)

The missing person section on the back of a milk cartoon had featured Aaron Nola the last few seasons. It has appeared that the Nola of old may have found his way back home. Outside of giving up a home run in what seems like every start, Aaron Nola has pitched very well in 2022. The club needed this season to determine what his future would entail and I believe Aaron has stepped up to the challenge. The Phillies never seem to give Aaron the run support he needs but he has given them a chance to win the majority of his starts. The Phillies have to get the same effort out of Nola and their offense needs to give him the support he has lacked all season. If the Phillies can give Aaron an early lead, I expect them to win this game and series against San Francisco.