August 17, 2022
The Phillies took two of three from the Reds in Cincinnati this week, improving their overall record to 65-52. They stand, as of this writing, one game up on the Padres for the second Wild Card spot in the National League and 6.5 games behind Atlanta for the top Wild Card seed.
Even with a series win, losing the final leg of the three-game set can leave a bitter taste in fans' mouth, especially given how it specifically played out. Scoring zero runs the day after scoring 11 runs is the sort of maddening inconsistency that will still prevent all Phillies fans from being completely in on this squad. Nick Lodolo blanking you for seven innings of no-run ball in a loss? Come on.
Some notes on the Fightins...
As I said, the Phils did score 11 runs on Tuesday. Credit to 27-year-old Darick Hall for being on a tear in his first ever season in the majors. He went yard in the third inning that game on the way to an 11-4 win. After Wednesday's game, Hall has a slugging percentage of .555 in 134 plate appearances this season. It's a much smaller sample size than most, but he's one of only 10 players in baseball to do that (via Stathead).
Is Philly due for The Darick Hall game in October?
On Tuesday night, the Phillies recorded their 10,000th win in franchise history. It'd be a lot more memorable if they weren't the first team in the history of professional sports to lose 10,000 games, weren't 1,116 games under .500 all time and had made the playoffs at any point in the three most recent presidential terms. Losing at least 100 games 14 times and at least 90 games 40 times will do that to your all-time win-loss record.
Phenomenal move by the NBC Sports Philadelphia production crew on this one:
NBC Sports Philadelphia has added a "Keith Hernandez approved" graphic when the Phillies make an impressive defensive play. pic.twitter.com/q0o7kCvChV— Tim Kelly (@TimKellySports) August 17, 2022
Ranger Suárez was dealing on Wednesday afternoon. In seven innings of work, he surrendered zero runs and just three hits while striking out eight batters. His ERA dropped to 3.31 on the season. It wasn't his fault they lost!
With the Wild Card round this year being a best-of-three series, it's obvious that a team needs a strong 1-2-3 in the rotation. I have confidence in Zack Wheeler, Aaron Nola has the best strikeout-to-walk ratio in the big leagues and then there's Suárez. A day game in Cincy, however, is a different universe from pitching in a winner-take-all Game 3 on the road in October. Get these reps in!
After losing two out of three to the Mets in Queens last weekend, the first-place Mets come to South Philly on Friday for a four-game set. For the sake of respectability and fan pride, they need this series win. It needs to be an absolute statement that they're for real and a team to be reckoned with come October. Apathy will set in once more if they drop this series too.
Probable pitchers for the series, including a Saturday doubleheader:
|Friday 8/19, 7:05 p.m.
|Saturday, 8/20, 1:05 p.m.
|Saturday, 8/20, 7:05 p.m.
|Sunday, 8/21, 1:35 p.m.
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