Well would you look at that, the Phillies are fun again!

Anyone who went out to Citizens Bank Park this past weekend will tell you there was a much different feeling there than in recent years. Part of that was due to a large number of fans making a lively atmosphere. Part of that was due to the ceremonies to honor some of the franchise’s best players. But it was mostly because the Phillies are winning games and back in first place.

The Phillies are finding ways to win games, and the fans are beginning to buy in. When the Phillies are doing well, the city will get behind them. The problem is that the franchise often allows the fans’ passion to go down for long stretches.

If the Phillies want that passion to remain, they need to prove that their recent success wasn’t just a product of inferior competition. Fortunately, this upcoming series will be a perfect opportunity as the defending champions — the Los Angeles Dodgers — come to town for a three game series.

Here’s a few storylines for this weekend’s series.

Last time they met, what’s happened since

The Phillies visited Los Angeles in mid-June and lost the first two games before Zack Wheeler out-dueled Clayton Kershaw in the finale.

If the Dodgers want to beat the San Francisco Giants in the West, they’re going to have to it pick up. Since the All-Star break, they’re just 11-10, and have fallen four games out of first place.

More Scherzer

There probably weren’t too many Phillies hitters upset when Max Scherzer was traded out of the NL East last month. And sure enough, it was much nicer facing the Washington Nationals not worrying about having to face the team’s long-time ace at some point.

Unfortunately, they’re not quite done with him yet, as he’ll get the start for the Dodgers on Tuesday night.

Scherzer has had much success at Citizens Bank Park throughout his career with an 8-1 record and 2.33 ERA in 11 starts. This season, he’s 3-0 with a 1.45 ERA in his three starts.

Pitching matchups

Game 1: Aaron Nola (RHP | 7-6, 4.49 ERA) vs. Max Scherzer (RHP | 9-4, 2.75 ERA)
Game 2: Kyle Gibson (RHP | 8-3, 2.79 ERA) vs. David Price (LHP | 4-1, 3.53 ERA)
Game 3: TBD vs. TBD

The numbers

Run Differential:
Phillies: -5
Dodgers: 171

Runs Scored Per Game:
Phillies: 4.63
Dodgers: 5.21

Runs Allowed Per Game:
Phillies: 4.67
Dodgers: 3.68

Game times and broadcasts

  • Tuesday, August 10 at 7:05pm ET on NBC Sports Philadelphia, 94.1 WIP
  • Wednesday, August 11 at 7:05pm ET on ESPN, NBC Sports Philadelphia, 94.1 WIP
  • Thursday, August 13 at 1:05pm ET on NBC Sports Philadelphia, 94.1 WIP