February 6, 2023

Slithering into September—Series Preview: Phillies at Diamondbacks, August 29 – 31


The Phillies are heading into their final series before September baseball rolls around, so I was obligated to use a snake pun with the Phillies wrapping up the month against the D-Backs.

So what is the goal in this three-game set in Arizona? Slither out of this series smoother than they did last season.

On August nineteenth, 2021, the Phillies were swept out of Arizona by Madison Bumgarner—who is also the starter of game one in this series—and an Arizona offense that tallied eight hits, marking the 2021 Phillies’ third series loss in a row.

But now, they have proved that they are a deeper team with a stronger desire to win. The Phillies are coming off two strong series at home and can count on Bryce Harper getting in a groove now that his feet are once again wet at the major-league level.

Last time they met

The scheduled meetings of these two teams are a little funky. The Phillies and D-Backs played their series in South Philly way back at the beginning of June when the Phillies came into the series with a six-game winning streak.

Strong pitching performances led the Phils to victory in the first two games, but their streak came to a close after a deflating, 13-1, loss in game three.

While the Diamondbacks have just 59 wins so far this season, they play much better in Arizona. And, the Phillies will be facing longtime nemesis Madison Bumgarner as well as Zac Gallen—one of the league’s best pitchers over the past month.

The Phillies’ bullpen

After a long series with the Mets that included a doubleheader, the Phillies’ bullpen was running out of gas.

Aaron Nola’s complete-game shutout helped immensely in restoring the ‘pen, but there will still be some question marks ahead of game one.

Nick Nelson and Sam Coonrod will definitely be unavailable since they have thrown back-to-back days. But more importantly, Brad Hand and David Robertson have not pitched in the past two days, and Andrew Bellatti did not pitch at all against the Pirates. So while the backend of the bullpen is ready to go, getting a quality outing from Ranger Suarez in game one would be helpful going into the final two games of the series.

Connor Brogdon has been scuffling in his past few appearances, and there is a good chance that we don’t see him in game one. Brogdon struggles to pitch two days in a row and has not had much success doing so.

Rob Thomson described what Brogdon is going through as a “rut” and speculated that he could need some extra rest coming back from the COVID-related IL.

Carroll’s debut

Typically, the eight-hole hitter in a lineup is not much of a threat, but the D-Backs will have a new face slotted there this series.

Corbin Carroll, MLB Network’s third-best prospect in all of the minor leagues, will bat eighth and play right field in game one against the Phillies on Monday night.

Carroll was drafted sixteenth overall by the Diamondbacks in the 2019 amateur draft and has put up excellent numbers throughout all of the minor leagues.

In three levels this season, he has combined for a .307 average and a 1.035 OPS. Carroll’s 24 home runs are a clear indication that he can hit for power, but his 31 stolen bases often go unnoticed.

He’ll have a tough matchup with lefty Ranger Suarez on the bump for the Phillies in game one, but the Phils’ pitching staff should not treat him lightly despite his inexperience.

Pitching matchups

Game 1: Ranger Suarez (LHP, 8-5, 3.38 ERA) vs. Madison Bumgarner (LHP, 6-13, 4.53 ERA)

Game 2: Aaron Nola (RHP, 9-10, 3.08 ERA) vs. Zac Gallen (RHP, 9-2, 2.66 ERA)

Game 3: Bailey Falter (LHP, 2-3, 4.41 ERA) vs. Tommy Henry (LHP, 3-2, 3.25 ERA)

The numbers

  • Run Differential:
  • Phillies: 79
  • Diamondbacks: -20
  • Runs Scored Per Game:
  • Phillies: 4.63
  • Diamondbacks: 4.33
  • Runs Allowed Per Game:
  • Phillies: 4.02
  • Diamondbacks: 4.48

Game time and broadcasts

  • Monday, August 29, at 9:40pm ET on MLB Network, NBC Sports Philadelphia, WTTM 1680, 94.1 WIP
  • Tuesday, August 30, at 9:40pm ET on NBC Sports Philadelphia, WTTM 1680, 94.1 WIP
  • Wednesday, August 31, at 9:40pm ET on NBC Sports Philadelphia, WTTM 1680, 94.1 WIP

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

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: