Series Preview: Phillies head to San Francisco for the weekend

Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto
Philadelphia Phillies’ J.T. Realmuto hits a double against Cincinnati Reds pitcher Reiver Sanmartin during the seventh inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2022, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Following an overall disappointing series in Arizona, the Phillies head north up the Pacific coast to San Francisco.

Philadelphia is set to play their final three games versus the Giants this season. The last time these two teams met up, the Phillies lost the series, and that would end Joe Girardi’s tenure in Philadelphia.

A Tale of Two Halves

The two teams look a lot different than they did at the beginning of June. The Phillies were seven games below .500, and the team looked lifeless. The Giants were five games above .500 upon leaving Philadelphia. San Francisco felt like they would again be heading to the postseason, and coming off a 107-win season, the Giants seemed to be a threat in the National League.

Since then, the Phillies have turned their season around. Rob Thomson becoming the interim manager has skyrocketed Philadelphia up the standings, and the club currently sits at 73-58, 15 games above the .500 mark.

The Phillies’ offense has been on fire since the All-Star break, and with a healthy Bryce Harper, has the potential to be one of the best lineups in the game. The Phillies hold the second Wild Card spot heading into this Giants series, and the club is on pace to make the postseason.

The Giants have gone in the opposite direction. The team is currently 61-68 and riding a seven-game losing streak. The team is all but out on the postseason and would need to go on a tremendous run to pass the Brewers and Padres to slide into the final Wild Card spot.

The Phillies still have something to play for

Only one of the two teams we will watch this weekend has something to play for. The Phillies need to take this series against San Francisco further to extend their lead in the Wild Card race. The Giants have nothing to play for in this series, their season is almost over, and they are looking forward to retooling next season.

With this being said, the Phillies cannot afford to take the Giants lightly. This veteran club still has talented players at its disposal. Carlos Rodon, a top pitcher in the game, will make the start Sunday for San Fran. Outfielder Joc Pederson is still hitting bombs and has 20 on the season. This Giants team is essentially made up of the same players that took two of three in South Philly. If the Phils expect them to hand over a pair of wins, they will sadly be mistaken.

After getting embarrassed by Arizona earlier in the week. The Phillies need to set the tone and take the first game on Friday night. This will be the final team the Phillies appear on Apple TV this season. Taking game one and setting the tone on Friday night will take the pressure off the team as they try and win the series in the following two games this weekend.

Playoff Implications

As the Phillies and Giants get set to do battle, there are a couple of matchups around the league that the Phillies will be watching.

Brewers @ Diamondbacks

The Milwaukee Brewers will continue their four-game series in Arizona as this weekend unfolds. The Brewers dropped game one of this series on Thursday night, which gave the Phillies an extra half-game lead in the Wild Card.

As the first pitches are thrown in these respective games tonight, the Phillies lead the Brew Crew by 3.5 games. Adding on the season series win, Philly basically has a 4.5-game lead over Milwaukee.

Padres @ Dodgers

The San Diego Padres will head to Los Angeles to take on baseball’s best in the Dodgers. This can be a huge series for the Phillies. The Padres most likely won’t win this series or, at the most, will take two of the three games. The Fightins have a good opportunity to take a bigger lead on the Friars.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Matt Slocum