February 6, 2023

Series Preview: Diamondbacks at Phillies, June 10 – 12

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In each of the six games that Rob Thomson has managed, he has gotten to feel the joy and relief of trotting out to the pitcher’s mound to celebrate the well-earned win. He has done it three times at the Bank and three times at Miller Park in Milwaukee.

Now, the Phillies are returning home, and Thomson and his squad will aim to continue their winning streak. The Phillies have won seven consecutive games, and six of those have been under Rob Thomson. Thomson took over the role of manager on Friday after the firing of Joe Girardi.

It is always hard to sweep a team in a three-game series, but the Phillies might have a legitimate chance to do it for the third time in a row. They are facing the 28-31 Arizona Diamondbacks, who are just two games out of the last place in the National League West.

In the offseason, the Diamondbacks were focused on improving their pitching, given the emergence of young centerfielder Daulton Varsho. Varsho’s career has gotten off to a slow start, yet the Diamondbacks are still relying on him to be a future leader in their organization.

In the back end of the bullpen, they added Phillies’ former closer Ian Kennedy and a seasoned veteran in Mark Melancon. Although Melancon has 11 saves, he has not had a good 2022 season. He has a 2-6 record and an ERA of 6.52. Kennedy, on the other hand, has been much more consistent—he has a 3.57 ERA over 22.2 innings of work.

In terms of starting pitching, the Diamondbacks signed righty Zach Davies in free agency to provide more depth in their rotation. Through twelve starts, he has an ERA of 4.21, and he has struck 50 batters out in 62 innings.

Keep adding wood to the fire

Being a lover of analogies, I could not pass up an opportunity to use this one. If you look at the box scores over the past seven games, you will notice that there isn’t one single player who is leading the pack. So, if the Phillies want to keep playing at the level that they’re at, everyone will have to contribute. In other words, we will have to keep adding individual pieces of wood to keep the fire going in South Philadelphia.

Who is the ‘wood?’ The entire lineup. Even the bottom three spots in the lineup have made big contributions over the past week. Didi Gregorius had a few RBI in the Brewers series, and Bryson Stott has arguably been the hottest player on the Phillies.

At the top of the order, the June 2021 version of Kyle Schwarber has been founded. Coincidentally, it was found in June 2022. Over his past seven games, he is hitting .357 and has an OPS of 1.348. He now has a total of 15 home runs in 2022, putting him in line to hit 43 home runs by the end of the season.

A good matchup for Gibby

At this point, I may as well use all of the different types of figurative language. While it is alliterative, it is also very true. In 2022, Kyle Gibson has an ERA of 3.48 at home, and his WHIP at Citizens Bank Park this year is only .98. Furthermore, left-handed hitters are only hitting .220 against Gibson. The Diamondbacks only have one righty in their lineup for game one, so Kyle Gibson will get to face an abundance of lefties in his start on Friday.

Pitching matchups

Game 1: Kyle Gibson (RHP, 3-2, 4.4 ERA) vs Zac Gallen (RHP, 4-1, 2.4 ERA)

Game 2: Zack Wheeler (RHP, 4-3, 3.14 ERA) vs Madison Bumgarner (LHP, 2-5, 3.64 ERA)

Game 3: Ranger Suarez (LHP, 4-3, 4.42 ERA) vs. TBD

The numbers

  • Run Differential
  • Phillies: 34
  • Diamondbacks: -42
  • Runs Scored Per Game:
  • Phillies: 4.86
  • Diamondbacks: 3.93
  • Runs Allowed Per Game:
  • Phillies: 4.26
  • Diamondbacks: 4.64

Game times and broadcasts

  • Friday, June 10, at 7:05pm ET on NBC 10, WTTM 1680, 94.1 WIP
  • Saturday, June 11, at 4:05pm ET on NBC Sports Philadelphia, WTTM 1680, 94.1 WIP
  • Sunday, June 12, at 1:35pm ET on NBC Sports Philadelphia, WTTM 1680, 94.1 WIP

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

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