Phillies host Pirates in 4-Game Set

Philadelphia Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto (10) and relief pitcher Jeff Hoffman celebrate a 4-3 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals in a baseball game Wednesday, April 10, 2024, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

The Phillies come back home following a rather successful road trip to face a hot-start Pittsburgh Pirates for another classic Battle of The Gas Stations for four games. The Phillies come into this series back at .500 while the Pirates are coming to Philadelphia with a 9-3 record.

The Phillies’ bats haven’t really shown up, they’ve been relying on the pitching to show up every night. Despite the underperformance, the Phils have won back-to-back series, both on the road. Can they continue the series win streak? Let’s look at some things.

Phillies-Pirates History

The Phillies have played the Pirates many, many times in their history. The Fightins have a losing record against the Pirates all-time, winning just 1,082 of their 2,317 games, with a winning percentage of .469.

Since the turn of the century, however, the Phils lead the matchup 77-74.

In 2020 and beyond , they are 7-4, including a Johan Rojas walk-off to clinch a postseason spot.

Probable Pitching Matchups

Game one will see Ranger Suarez face off against Jared Jones. Ranger Suarez has been very solid for the Phillies to start the year. Historically, he plays the pirates well, posting a 2-0 record with a 2.25 ERA and 23 strikeouts in 20 innings. Jared Jones is a rookie, so he has not faced the Phillies yet in his career. The 22 year-old has a 3.86 ERA with 17 strikeouts in 11.2 innings of work. The team notoriously underperform in these scenarios, they’re hoping this goes differently.

Phillies fans will see a familiar face in game two. Former Philadelphia Phillie and 2022 NL champion Bailey Falter will face Cristopher Sánchez. Bailey Falter’s first game of the season was not good, to say the least. He went four innings, allowing six earned runs on five hits and three walks.

His second outing saw him throw six shutout innings against the Baltimore Orioles. Cristopher Sánchez’s first two outings were as good as you can ask for from the fifth starter. He allowed two runs in his first start and three runs in the second, the Phillies lost both games. Like Zack Wheeler, he is looking to get his first win of 2024.

Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher Matt Strahm throws during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals Wednesday, April 10, 2024, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Spencer Turnbull is looking to continue his incredible start to the year, while Marco Gonzales will attempt to get his first win of 2024. Turnbull plays the Pirates very well, going 2-0 with a 1.00 ERA and 15 strikeouts in 16 innings. Gonzales has only faced the Phillies once in his career, which was last season in Seattle. During that game, he pitched five innings and allowed just one run, a home run by Edmundo Sosa. Unfortunately for the Phillies, they lost that game 5-3.

To complete the four-game series, Zack Wheeler will face Mitch Keller. Zack Wheeler has pitched three games, all gems, and has yet to get a win. He plays the Pirates well, posting a 4-0 record with a 2.14 ERA and 50 strikeouts in 42 innings of work. Mitch Keller has yet to get a win against the Phillies. He is 0-3 with a 5.74 ERA and 27 strikeouts in 26.2 innings.

The Pirates are hot and the Phillies are not, but this is a winnable series for Philadelphia. They’re back at home following a winning road trip. Johan Rojas and Nick Castellanos might be heating up and the bullpen has been stable as of late. The Pirates are not a “get right” team to start the year, but the Phillies should still be able to handle business and at least split the four-game series.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Jeff Roberson