Series Preview: Phillies play host to Nats over Alumni Weekend

MLB: JUL 25 Angels at Royals
KANSAS CITY, MO – JULY 25: Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard (34) reacts after being relieved in the sixth inning during a MLB game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Kansas City Royals on July 25, 2022, at Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City, MO. Photo by Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire),

The Phillies open up a four-game series this weekend against their division rival Washington Nationals. The club will host the Nationals, a team that just traded their two best players in Juan Soto and Josh Bell. The Phillies should have no problem taking care of the 36-70 Washington outfit, but they can’t afford to take them lightly. Taking care of business and moving further above the .500 mark needs to be the top priority for the Phillies this weekend.

Phillies Legends Return

Arguably the best weekend of the Phillies season will take place this weekend against the Washington Nationals. The Phillies are hosting their Alumni Weekend, and players from all generations of Phillies baseball will be at the ballpark to celebrate.

This year, the organization will be honoring the 1980 World Series Championship team, something that got postponed due to the pandemic.

The festivities start on Thursday night as fans 15+ will receive a replica Mike Schmidy 1980 World Series championship ring. These rings are the real deal and having received the 2008 replica a few seasons ago, they carry some weight to them. This giveaway is a real treat to all fans, but to those who watched the 1980 team play, I’m sure it will have more sentimental value.

On Friday night, the team will pay tribute to long-time stadium announcer Dan Baker. Baker has spent 50 years with the organization, and, just like Harry Kalas was in the booth, Dan is the voice of the Phillies. It will be a wonderful occasion, and Dan deserves all the love and gratitude coming his way.

The Calvary Has Arrived

It didn’t take long for the Phillies’ Trade Deadline additions to make an impact on the team. On Wednesday afternoon David Robertson re-welcomed himself to the club with a 9th inning save against the Atlanta Braves. Robertson got to the team so quickly that he hadn’t gotten enough time to get red cleats from the Phillies. Instead, he had to play in his blue Cubs cleats he has been rocking all season.

The rest of the troops will be active and ready to go for Thursday’s game against the Nationals. Noah Syndergaard will take the mound for his first start as a Phillie, and Brandon Marsh is expected to be activated and play centerfield. The two former Angels are expected to be starters for the club heading down the stretch.

Syndergaard has spent plenty of time at Citizens Bank Park due to his time with the New York Mets and has faced the Washington Nationals plenty of times. It should be a relatively comfortable transition into his first start with the Phillies.

Phillies second basemen Jean Segura should be making his return to the club on Thursday as well. Jean has been out of action since late May after a failed bunt attempt left him with a broken finger. Segura has been rehabbing with the Iron Pigs over the last week to get back into game shape. I expect Segura to pick up right where he left off earlier this season.

A Look Ahead

The Phillies need to handle business this weekend against the Washington Nationals. The Phils should take at least three of the four games this weekend, but a series sweep is very attainable. The Nationals roster is void of Major League talent. If the Phillies play a clean brand of baseball this weekend, it should make things very hard for the Nationals to overcome the odds. The team cannot give the Nats anything free and easy, or it can leave them in an unpredictable situation.

Following the Nationals series, the Phillies will be off on Monday. They will then welcome the Miami Marlins to town for a three-game series before heading to New York to take on the Mets. This will be a huge series for the club, and if they want to prove they are legitimate playoff contenders, they must take care of their division rival.

Photo by Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire