Fresh on the back of an 11-9 defeat to the Marlins, the Phillies have one more opportunity to try and stop them living rent free in the heads of fans everywhere before moving onto a series against the Nationals. Can they get the job done and win the series?
Last night wasn’t exactly fun. Instead, it highlighted just how badly the Phillies need bullpen help.
Zach Eflin started his night by allowing two home runs in the opening stanza and 4 total runs. Not great.
The good news is that the Phillies responded really well. Rhys Hoskins stayed hot by pounding in 4 hits and a pair of runs, while Kyle Schwarber made sure to punch in two runs of his own. The Phils got production across the board, which against a slumping second-year pitcher, is all they could really hope for.
Situationally, with a four-run lead, the Phillies simply had to limit damage. This was something Familia was unable to do. He gave away a three-run homer to Jacob Stallings and instantly forced the Phillies back into familiar territory of a wobbly close.
Then came the ninth inning. A one-run lead and Corey Knebel is never a good idea. Knebel struggled, as did Familia, and the Phils ended up surrendering three runs in the inning, losing the game.
Bullpen help is an absolute must if this team is to get to the postseason, let alone make some noise if they get there.
Predicted Pitching matchup
It’s safe to say that the offense probably won’t move the needle as easily against Lopez as they did last night. He’s been absolutely dominant this year and the Phillies can’t afford reckless at-bats.
Gibson has had a pretty bumpy season up to this point, filled with highs and lows. The Phillies will need him to be at his best knowing that the offense might not be able to pump out runs at its usual eye-popping rate. It’s games like this that will really test the mettle of this team.
The Phillies are still favorites going into today’s game, but I’d argue their form has cooled off this series. With the pitching matchup arguably favoring the Marlins, I’d rather tap into the run total and bet under 7.5. The Miami offense is hardly lethal and Gibson should be able to hold them in check. This means the Phillies can be afforded a bigger night at the office without it ruining the total. I’m taking the under today.
AP Photo/Chris Szagola