September 21, 2023

Series Preview: Phillies at Rockies, April 18 -20


AP Photo/Mary Holt

Following a brutal series against the Miami Marlins, the Phillies will head to the Rocky Mountains to faceoff against the Colorado Rockies in a three-game series.

Even though the Rockies are expected to be towards the bottom of the NL West, they are off to a good start in 2022. The Rockies opened their season by taking two of three games from the Dodgers, sweeping the Rangers, and splitting a four-game series with the Cubs. Now, the 6-3 Rockies hope to continue their success against the Phillies.

Longtime Rockies manager Bud Black has some new tools to play with in 2022. The Rockies signed all-star Kris Bryant. Bryant—who can play every position on the field except pitcher, catcher, and middle-infield—signed a seven-year contract in Colorado, so we should expect to see him in Rockies’ purple for the next several years.

The Rockies also picked up former Angels’ first baseman C.J. Cron. In just nine games, he is already leading the league in home runs. They also picked up closer Alex Colome as well as starting pitcher Chad Kuhl. Kuhl will start game one of this series.

The Rockies continued to make improvements by making a trade right before they left Spring Training. They received outfielder Randal Grichuk from the Blue Jays in exchange for outfielder Raimel Tapia.

Can Bryson Stott rebound?

Bryson Stott had a very rough series in Miami. He did not play Sunday, but he was 0-5 with five strikeouts on Saturday. Additionally, he went hitless on Thursday and Friday, so he was 0-12 with six strikeouts during that four-game set in Miami.

Stott is a key piece in the Phillies organization. He is the number one overall prospect on the Phillies, and he is going to see more playing time as he ages. Most people are questioning whether he is major league ready. If not, is this going to hurt his development?

Can the Phillies get consistent?

The biggest issue surrounding this team so far is their lack of consistency. In some games, the Phillies don’t score, and in others, they score a whopping ten runs. In some games, the pitching is dominant, and sometimes, the pitching is horrendous.

Offensively, we saw Bryce Harper, Kyle Schwarber, and Matt Vierling get it together in Miami. After taking a day off, Schwarber went 2-4 with a home run. Harper hit .313 in the Marlins series and added a home run in game four. Vierling, who came into this series hitless, had three hits in the series. One of those three hits was an RBI double in game two.

The Phillies’ pitching always seems inconsistent, but it became clear; especially, in game one, where Kyle Gibson barely made it out of the fourth inning. The bullpen had its ups and downs throughout the series as well.

So, what is the main idea? If the top of the Phillies lineup can stay consistent, and if the bullpen can stay consistent and keep the Phillies in games, then the wins will come for this ball club.

Since this series is in thin-aired Colorado, consistently keeping the ball on the ground will be crucial for the Phillies’ pitchers.

Jean Segura returns

Jean Segura missed the first two games in the Marlins series, but he returned in game three. He is fully healthy and is expected to have his regular playing time going forward. Segura is hitting .286 on the season, and he was arguably the hottest Phillie before being hit by a pitch last Wednesday at Citizens Bank Park.

Alec Bohm is back at the hot corner

After a very defensively-rocky day for Bohm in game one of the Mets series, Bohm will return to third base for game one of this series. He had three errors charged to his name that day against the Mets. Joe Girardi informed the media that he would not start at third base until he received additional “instruction” from the Phillies’ coaches. Six games later, Joe Girardi said that Bohm was “very close” to being back at third base.

Now, we get to see him make his return at third base. What are we looking for? It is simple: For him to be a viable defender.

Here is the rest of the Phillies lineup for game one:

Pitching matchups

Game 1: Aaron Nola (RHP, 1-1, 9.1 innings, 7 ER) vs. Chad Kuhl (RHP, 0-0, 4.1 innings, 1 ER)

Game 2: Kyle Gibson (RHP, 1-1, 11.2 innings, 4 ER) vs. Kyle Freeland (LHP, 0-2, 9 innings, 10 ER)

Game 3: Zach Eflin (RHP, 0-1, 8 innings, 4 ER) vs. German Marquez (RHP, 0-0, 11.1 innings, 5 ER)

The numbers

  • Run Differential:
  • Phillies: -9
  • Rockies: 8
  • Runs Scored Per Game:
  • Phillies: 4.2
  • Rockies: 5.11
  • Runs Allowed Per Game:
  • Phillies: 5.1
  • Rockies: 4.22

Game times and broadcasts

  • Monday, April 18, at 8:40pm ET on NBC Sports Philadelphia Plus, WTTM 1680, 94.1 WIP
  • Tuesday, April 19, at 8:40pm ET on NBC Sports Philadelphia Plus, WTTM 1680, 94.1 WIP
  • Wednesday, April 20, at 3:10pm ET on NBC Sports Philadelphia, MLB Network, WTTM 1680, 94.1 WIP

Game coverage will be available on Philly Sports Reports’ Twitter page.

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