The 5-3 Philadelphia Phillies will wrap up their three-game series against the 4-4 Atlanta Braves Sunday night. The Phillies will be attempting to avoid being swept out of Atlanta.

Here’s what to watch:

Losing a key bullpen piece

The Phillies placed reliever Archie Bradley on the 10-day injured list Sunday afternoon with a left oblique strain, eight games into the season. Left-handed reliever JoJo Romero was recalled from the Phillies’ alternate site to take Bradley’s place on the active roster.

Bradley took the loss Saturday night in Atlanta after giving up a double to Ehire Adrianza and a single to Ronald Acuña Jr. in the seventh inning of a tie game.

Bradley has appeared in four games as a Phillie, entering twice in the seventh inning, once in the sixth and once in the eighth. He’s allowed two runs and five baserunners in three innings with three strikeouts.

Bradley was the most expensive addition to the Phillies’ bullpen over the offseason, signing a one-year contract worth $6 million. There was some thought he’d enter the season as the closer but that job went to Hector Neris, who’s finished three games and made four scoreless appearances. Bradley is in a setup role, as he was for the bulk of his six-year tenure in Arizona. 

With the loss, Connor Brogdon and Brandon Kintzler need to step up big time. They need to become even more important as setup men, so does lefty Jose Alvarado. Sam Coonrod has pitched very well since the spring and could factor into the later innings as well. He’s allowed one baserunner in four scoreless innings. Neris, Brogdon, Alvarado, Kintzler, and Coonrod have combined to give up two runs in 19 innings with 25 strikeouts and four walks.

The 24-year-old Romero was among the Phillies’ final cuts of spring training. It was quite the surprising cut given that Alvarado is the lone lefty in the season-opening bullpen. Romero made 12 appearances as a rookie in 2020 and had a 2.89 ERA with 10 strikeouts and one walk after his first nine. He then allowed three runs in each of his next two appearances, ending the shortened season with a 7.59 ERA in a dozen games.

At the time of the move to cut JoJo, manager Joe Girardi talked about Romero’s potential to be an “elite reliever” with his arsenal of pitches but needed to work on command.

“I don’t think you can make too much of what’s going on down there (at the alternate site) because it’s a different heartbeat and it’s a different world up here,” Girardi said Sunday. “I think we’ll have a better idea when he gets into a game.”

Moore’s second appearance

Matt Moore made his first start with the Phillies on April 5th, and he was what was expected.

He went through a 31-pitch third inning and allowed two runs in the fourth inning. Moore did not make it out of the inning.

Moore pitched a total of 3 1/3 innings pitched allowing 4 hits, 2 earned runs, 4 walks, and he struck out 4.

Moore isn’t known for knowing the distance as it is, and he collapsed in the fourth.

Lineups

Phillies:

Braves:

Essentials

When: 7:08 P.M. E.S.T.

Where: Truist Field

Broadcast: ESPN

Radio: 94.1 WIP

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