Series Preview: Phillies dance with Braves one last time

Phillies Bryce harper
Philadelphia Phillies’ Bryce Harper, right, reacts past Washington Nationals catcher Riley Adams after hitting a two-run home run during the fifth inning of the second baseball game in a doubleheader, Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

For the first time in a long time, it seems like the Phillies are coasting their way into the postseason.

This will be the first time since 2010-2011 that the Phillies have had back-to-back post-season appearances, and it is hopefully the beginning of a nice trend for this franchise.

They do need to keep winning games as the season wraps up and a good way to do that is down in Atlanta, where they take on the Braves for what may be the final time in 2023. 

Phillies vs Braves Series Preview

The Phillies have been the little brother to the Atlanta Braves for what feels like forever in the National League.

Just last week, the Braves clinched their 6th straight division title on Philly soil.

The Braves are the best team in baseball this season and are looking to get back to the World Series, in which they last won in 2021.

Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher Gregory Soto (30) works against the Toronto Blue Jays during the ninth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2023, in Toronto. (Spencer Colby/The Canadian Press via AP)

For the Braves, the postseason loss to the Phillies was our way of throwing a wrench in their plans. They have come back bigger and better and that is why they will likely be the first team to 100 wins this season.

Atlanta will potentially be playing this series without NL MVP favorite Ronald Acuna Jr.

Acuna tweaked his hamstring on Friday against the Marlins. While it is nothing serious, the chances are that management will tread lightly with their best player.

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Last Chance for Aaron Nola?

Manager Rob Thomson has been very adamant about having Aaron Nola start Game 2 of a playoff series for the Phillies.

Bluntly, Aaron Nola has not been a Game 2 caliber starter in 2023. While he has proven he can pitch in big games, Aaron just simply hasn’t had the same success this year. Many are calling this his ’09 Hamels season, which is one of those times that being linked to Cole is a bad thing.

If Aaron can pitch a strong game against the Braves, it might just give him the confidence he needs to get on a roll.

Phillies Aaron Nola
Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Aaron Nola delivers during the first inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Pittsburgh, Sunday, July 31, 2022. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

It is now or never for the Phillies starter, and while we have said that for most of the season, it truly is make-it-or-break-it time for the former first-round pick.

While this outcome may not influence Rob Thomson’s choice to start him in a game 2, I think it would put the fans’ minds at ease if Aaron can deliver a good performance on Wednesday.

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Charlie Manuel Update

On Saturday Afternoon, former World Series champion and Phillies manager Charlie Manuel suffered a stroke.

Luckily for Charlie, he was able to get attended to with quick haste and has progressed very well over the last 36 hours or so.

The Phillies have been providing updates when they can and Charlie is very grateful for the love and support he has been receiving.

Here’s to hoping for a speedy recovery and I can’t wait to hear more good news come our way in the coming days.

AP Photo/Matt Slocum