Phillies Preview: Phils head back home to face the Fish

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Phillies Bryce Harper and JT Realmuto
Philadelphia Phillies’ J.T. Realmuto, right, celebrates after hitting a three-run home run that scored Bryce Harper (3) and Alec Bohm during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the San Francisco Giants in San Francisco, Sunday, Sept. 4, 2022. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

So, that was a West Coast trip for the Phillies. There’s nothing to talk about in the least. Why would there be?

Terrible West coast trips happen. It almost feels like one happens per season. There shouldn’t be a reason to panic yet. Remember what happened after the All-Star break? The Phillies got swept by a lowly Cubs team that was rumored to be trading away any star they had left.

How did they respond? The Fightins went 12-3 in their next 15. The last series of that stretch was a series win against the Miami Marlins who the Phillies now face to get out of their funk.

Although the Marlins have lost seven straight games, the Phillies must be on guard. The San Francisco Giants also were on a 7-game losing streak until they faced the Phillies.

Let’s look at the matchups.

Game 1 Nola vs. Luzardo

I’m not sure two pitchers could have a closer ERA at this point of the season. Aaron Nola has a slight advantage with a 3.43 ERA. Jesus Luzardo is right behind with a 3.44 ERA.

The main difference between the two comes in innings pitched. Aaron Nola has thrown more than double the innings that Luzardo has.

Nola is coming off of one of the worst starts of his career. No need to fret, however. Nola has a career 8.41 ERA against the Diamondbacks. It’s the one team he can’t beat. The Marlins are another story.

Nola has a 3.28 ERA with a 1.019 WHIP against the fish. That comes in 120.2 IP, a nice large sample size.

The Phillies remain tied for the 2nd Wild Card with the San Diego Padres and two games ahead of the Brewers. They need to take game one and get back on track.

Game 2 Rogers vs. Falter

If this matchup took place in 2021, the Phillies would have almost no hope of winning.

In 2021, Trevor Rogers was an emerging left-hand ace of the Marlins’ staff. He finished as the runner-up in Rookie of the Year voting and had a 2.64 ERA. That’s changed quickly as Rogers has been one of the worst starters in all of baseball in 2022. He has a 5.57 ERA and is allowing 10 hits per 9 IP.

Bailey Falter, on the other hand, is on the rise.

Falter has thrown at least 6 IP in his last 3 starts. Since August, he has a 2.45 ERA and has walked just two batters in 18.1 IP. His ERA for the season is down to 4.08. Before August his ERA was at 4.85.

He’s been a key piece of the Phillies’ rotation with the injuries to Zach Eflin and Zack Wheeler.

Game 3 Alcantara vs. Gibson

Here’s the real game no one expects the Phillies to win.

Sandy Alcantara remains the odds-on favorite to win the NL Cy Young award. He has a 2.36 ERA with a 12-6 in 190.2 IP. He has a WHIP under 1 at .997. Alcantara also leads the league in complete games with four.

He’s beating everyone…but the Phillies somehow beat him. He’s faced the Phillies four times this year. The Marlins have won just one of those games. He has a 3.03 ERA this season against the Phillies but still can’t get the W.

This would also be the time we get the other side of Dr. Gibson and Mr. Gibby. In his last start (Mr. Gibby), Kyle Gibson pitched just 1.2 IP while giving up seven runs to the Giants. The start before that (Dr. Gibson) he shutout the Pirates over 7 IP.

Gibson has been completely bipolar this season but, as everyone expects, is primed to throw a gem against the Marlins.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Jeff Chiu