The Phillies previous two series were against teams that were in sell mode before the trade deadline. Both the Washington Nationals and Pittsburgh Pirates traded away just about everything with hope that next season could be better. That should have resulted in easy wins for the Phillies, but instead they went just 3-4 — and two of those wins required last inning comebacks.

The Phillies will get another crack at the Nats this week. Can they take advantage of a team that isn’t trying to win? Or are we in for more frustrating losses as the Phillies continue to refuse to make a move in the very-winnable National League East?

Here’s a few storylines for this week’s series:

Last time they met

The two clubs played a four-game series last week which saw the Phillies twice win via walk-off home run (Andrew McCutchen three run ninth inning home run and Brad Miller’s grand slam in the eighth of a doubleheader).

That sounds great, right? Except that you can’t count on getting those all that often, and there’s a strong case to be made that the Phillies should have actually been swept.

Deadline sales

Max Scherzer, Trea Turner, Kyle Schwarber, Brad Hand, Daniel Hudson, Yan Gomes, Josh Harrison, and Jon Lester are all no longer Nationals.

So who do the Nationals have left? There’s Yadiel Hernandez who hit two home runs on Sunday, Patrick Corbin and his six year deal, and of course Juan Soto, who has to carry the remnants of this team because let’s be honest, everyone else sucks.

A new look rotation

The Phillies entered the season hoping to fill two of their rotation spots with Matt Moore, Chase Anderson, Vince Velasquez, and Spencer Howard. It didn’t seem to think that at least one of the three would prove to be capable enough of being an effective major league starter, but apparently not.

And that’s why Monday’s scheduled starter is Ranger Suarez. You may remember Suarez as an effective reliever and as the team’s closer. But, the Phils decided that the best way to fix the rotation was to insert Suarez into it. Keep in mind that Suarez isn’t stretched out (he’s going to go for a maximum of three innings on Monday), and his stuff doesn’t necessarily profile as a good starter.

It seems the Phillies’ decision-makers have little sense of object permanence.

Here’s an update on Zach Eflin:

Great *rolls eyes*.

Pitching matchups

Game 1: Ranger Suarez (LHP | 5-3, 1.12 ERA) vs. Josiah Gray (RHP | 0-0, 6.75 ERA)
Game 2: Zack Wheeler (RHP | 8-6, 2.45 ERA) vs. Patrick Corbin (LHP | 6-9, 5.78 ERA)
Game 3: Chase Anderson (RHP | 2-4, 6.75 ERA) vs. Paolo Espino (RHP | 3-2, 3.08 ERA)
Game 4: Aaron Nola (RHP | 7-6, 4.30 ERA) vs. Joe Ross (RHP | 5-9, 4.00 ERA)

The numbers

Run Differential:
Phillies: -20
Nationals: -27

Runs Scored Per Game:
Phillies: 4.55
Nationals: 4.38

Runs Allowed Per Game:
Phillies: 4.74
Nationals: 4.64

Game times and broadcasts

  • Monday, August 2 at 7:05pm ET on ESPN, NBC Sports Philadelphia, 94.1 WIP
  • Tuesday, August 3 at 7:05pm ET on NBC Sports Philadelphia, 94.1 WIP
  • Wednesday, August 4 at 7:05pm ET on NBC Sports Philadelphia, 94.1 WIP
  • Thursday, August 5 at 4:05pm ET on NBC Sports Philadelphia, 94.1 WIP