Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Series Preview: Phillies at Nationals

It's primary day, so let's have some fun. Just a hypothetical situation.
You're walking down the street to get a slice of pizza. A man walks up to you and tells you he's a wizard. Somehow, he proves it to you. Maybe he floats. Maybe he makes you float. Maybe he tells you things no one knows about you.
The wizard says, I'm giving you a choice.
Either your team, the Philadelphia Phillies, can make the World Series this year and the next three years or your candidate can win the White House.
Now, that's all he tells you.
Not whether your candidate will go down in shame. Not whether your candidate will be effective in office or even win reelection.
You don't know what happens to America from Oct. of this year to Oct. 2019. (I know, this isn't the candidate's full term, which runs from January 2017 to January 2021.)
For the Phillies, you know that they would reach an almost unprecedented level of glory. A cinderella team that wins the World Series, followed by back-to-back-to-back repeats.
Which do you choose?

Which do you pick

World Series championships
my iq tested

Now, to preview the series.

The games 
Tuesday, April 26: 7:05
Wednesday, April 27: 7:05
Thursday, April 28: 4:05

The matchups
Vincent Velasquez (2-1, 0.93) vs Max Scherzer (2-1, 4.32)
Jeremy Hellickson (1-1, 5.21) vs Gio Gonzalez (1-0, 1.42)
Aaron Nola (1-2, 4.50) vs Tanner Roark (2-2, 2.63)

What to know about the Nationals
Is anyone really shocked that the Nats are baseball's best team right now? They are 14-4. They lead the national league in ERA, don't give up many homers (11 in 18 games) and don't give up many walks (2.7 per nine).
The offense isn't as good as one would think. Washington is ninth in the National League in runs scored. It's being led by Bryce Harper and Daniel Murphy.
If you can shut one of those guys down, there's a chance you can win this game.
It's easier said than done. Harper has a .311/.362/.477 line against the Phils and Harper is the best young player in the league.

Key matchup
Tonight's game between Max Scherzer and Vincent Velazquez will set the tone. If the Phillies can beat the Nats behind Velazquez, it should be an interesting three games. Scherzer has pitched well against the Phils in his career, sporting a 5-1 mark and a 2.11 ERA.

What we can't wait to see.
Aaron Nola vs Tanner Roark on Thursday afternoon should be fun. I'm biased on Nola, but he and Roark are two of the most fun young pitchers to watch. They throw strikes, they have a ton of movement. I'd love to see both pitchers go deep into this one.

Big issue for the Phillies
The Phillies continue to not get on base. They have a .287 on-base percentage, which is last in the big leagues. Aside from Odubel Herrera's 17 walks, the team has just 29 free passes in 19 games. When you only post a .230 batting average, that's not going to cut it.
I don't think there's much hope for the batting average with this squad, but they have to make pitchers pitch more.
In Saturday's game, Oduble Herrera walked to lead off the game. Freddy Galvis followed by swinging at the first pitch.
That can't happen anymore. Gotta take a strike after a walk.


GM-Carson said...

Dan Otero, who was waived by the Phils this offseason, has a pristine ERA of 0.00 and WHIP of 0.38 through 5 appearances this season with the Indians. Just sayin'...

C.M.R. said...

i would hold my nose and suffer through 4 years of trump or hillary if it means the phillies will win 4 straight world series.

GM-Carson said...

Charlie Morton out for the remainder of the season, needs hamstring surgery.

Adam Morgan gets his chance.

Bob D said...

I agree with CMR, however Trump would make all the walls higher - eliminating home runs from the game. Hilliary would delete all the baseball blogs like her email and Bernie would make all the games free for everyone.

Now onto real stuff, Morgan is likely to get a prolong shot in rotation. He is a young pitcher who may not have big upside but looks to be quite productive and if needed down the road a trade chip to bring in another key player

GM-Carson said...

Bob D- that is some funny shit about the potential presidents and baseball.

Bob D said...


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