Thursday, April 27, 2017

Series Preview: Phillies start critical road trip in Los Angeles

This might be the most important road trip the Phillies have taken since they traveled to St. Louis during the 2011 NLDS. Having started the season 11-9 and rolling into the trek on a six-game winning streak, the squad will battle two expected World Series contenders, the Los Angeles Dodgers and the reigning champion Chicago Cubs.
Coming home from the seven-game trip with three, four or five wins would be a huge boost for the young squad.
But it's not just the games on the field that will matter.
During the road trip, the Phillies will also find out how healthy Aaron Nola is. It's hard to expect the Phillies to have a strong season if Nola, who went on the new 10-day disabled list earlier this week, spends much time on the disabled list.
Luckily for the Phillies, the trip to the DL was only a precaution. Nola's back was bothering him; it wasn't the elbow that caused him to miss the final two months of last season forcing him to the DL this time around.
If Nola doesn't pitch during the road trip, the Phillies might be in trouble. As it stands, he's tentatively expected to start on May 1, the first game against the Cubs.


Games

Friday April 28, 10:10 p.m.: Jerad Eickhoff (0-1, 2.55) vs. Kenta Maeda (1-2, 8.05)

Saturday, April 29, 9:10 p.m.: Zach Eflin (0-0, 2.25) vs. TBD

Sunday, April 30, 3:05 p.m.: Nick Pivetta (0-0, -.--) vs. TBD

What to know about the Los Angeles Dodgers

Opening the season at 10-12, Dave Roberts' club is struggling as it works toward a fifth straight division title. The Dodgers have started the season in an extremely pedestrian manner. They're 10th in the league in batting average, fourth in on-base percentage, eighth in slugging, 11th in home runs and eighth in stolen bases. The pitching staff, however, is first in the NL in ERA.

What to look for

Since we don't know who the Phillies will be facing, it's tough to predict what might happen during the series. We do know, however, that the offense is clicking right now. Cesar Hernandez, Aaron Altherr and Odubel Herrera are hitting well. Maikel Franco and Michael Saunders are starting to heat up as well.

If the offense keeps up its pace, the Phillies could take a couple games from the Dodgers as they start this road trip.

3 comments:

GM-Carson said...

I'd really like to see the offense breakout tonight and get Eickhoff some run support so he can pick up the W. Pitching as well as he has and not getting any wins for it has to start wearing on him.

GM-Carson said...

Ok, what to do with Tommy Joseph? Not only is he not hitting, he's not hitting poorly. Aimless strikeouts, pop outs, weak grounders...Hokins is tearing it up in AAA.

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