The first time through the rotation, Aaron Nola, Jeremy Hellickson and Jerad Eickhoff looked very good. The team continues to show patience. After walking 12 times in the first series, the Phils added 14 walks against the Nationals. The offense looks a bit improved over last season, which was to be expected.
The next three games against the New York Mets will test that early season trend.
GamesMonday April 10, 7:05 p.m.: Jacob deGrom (0-0, 0) vs. Jerad Eichoff (0-1, 2.60)
Tuesday, April 11, 7:05 p.m.: Matt Harvey (1-0, 2.70) vs. Clay Buchholz (0-0, 7.20)
Wednesday, April 12, 1:35 p.m.: Zach Wheeler (0-1, 11.25) vs. Vince Velasquez (0-1, 9.00)
2016 and 2017 seriesThe Phillies and Mets will play two series in the next two weeks. The Phillies open the season with a tough run of series against World Series contenders. Pulling off a few wins against the Mets could go a long way in the development of this team.
What to know about the MetsThe New York Mets have a legitimate shot at the 2017 World Series. Terry Collins' squad has a dynamic rotation of aces. The offense, though old, can pop a ton of home runs. However, the offense has struggled out of the gate and the team is bunched together with the Marlins, Nationals and Phillies for first place with 96 percent of the season to go.
What to look forWe wanted to see the Phillies do some damage with the sticks against the Nationals. Michael Saunders, Tommy Joseph and Maikel Franco had some big hits against Washington.
The Phillies will need to see more improvement in that area if they're going to be successful.
One game that should be fun to watch is Zach Wheeler vs. Vince Velasquez. Both pitchers have elite stuff and are coming off bad outings. At least one of them will bounce back this week.