As we stand now, the Phillies have a 2.5-game lead in the National League Wild Card standings. Just behind them in the two-spot with a 0.5-game lead are the San Francisco Giants.
This week, the Phillies host those Giants for a three-game series.
Could this series decide who gets home-field advantage in the three-game Wild Card series beginning October 3? Only one way to find out.
Last time they met
These two teams last faced off back in May in San Francisco. And, well, it did not go so well for the Phils, who were swept.
Game one was a bullpen game where Alec Bohm hit an early two-run homer. Things fell apart as a six-run second inning ensued for the Giants, pitched by Baily Falter, who is now a Pittsburgh Pirate. Game two was pitched by Zack Wheeler, who lasted six innings and allowed four earned runs as the Phillies lost 4-3. Kyle Schwarber’s ninth-inning 413-foot home run to straightaway center field made things interesting until the comeback fell short. Game three was started by Taijuan Walker, who at the time could not pitch to save his life. He lasted 0.2 innings four hits and four earned runs. The Phils tied the game in the fifth thanks to a two-run double by J.T. Realmuto, a sac fly from Bohm, and a solo shot from Bryson Stott. That was until Gregory Soto blew it in the eighth, allowing three runs to score to lose the game.
It was a bad series in San Fran. Though, at that time the Phillies were 20-23 and a completely different team. Both teams were below .500 after that series and now they’re the top two seeds in the Wild Card race. Both teams have been solid since.
Wild Card home field?
This series has a lot of playoff positioning implications.
As stated earlier, the Phillies have a 2.5-game lead in the National League Wild Card standings, and the Giants sit behind them in the two-spot with a 0.5-game lead.
Depending on how this series goes, the Phils could make a lot of space between them and the Giants. Or, the Phils could see themselves in second place.
The Giants just got battered by the Braves, so they need to get themselves back on track. While the Phils just lost a series to the Nationals. But they scored 22 runs in that series, so they have some offensive momentum going with them.
Former Phillies manager Gabe Kapler is back in town.
I do not believe coconut oil will be sold at the New Era Team Store this week.
Kapler is always the main focus in this series as well, Kapler tried to change Phillies baseball analytically and failed miserably. We should stop worrying and talking about Kapler because the success the team has had the past two seasons should have ejected him from our minds.
A Giant debut
The Giants’ top prospect and considered their best pitching prospect since Madison Bumgarner is making his debut in the City of Brotherly Love.
I guess they are using the Phillies as Harrison’s test and not the Braves. Cannot blame them.
An incredible giveaway
Not just is there a debut occurring on Tuesday, possibly the best giveaway is being distributed that night
It is Star Wars night, so Kyle Schwarber is a Jedi.
Schwarbie Wan Kenobi. A bobblehead.
Come on, that is awesome.
As a Star Wars fan and an Obi-Wan Kenobi guy, this may be a dream come true
If this was not just for the first 4,000 fans that purchase tickets with a Theme Night voucher, this game would be sold out.
Game Times and Broadcasts
- Monday, August 21, at 6:40 pm ET on NBC Sports Philadelphia, WTTM 1680 (Spanish), and 94.1 WIP
- Tuesday, August 22, at 6:40 pm ET on NBC Sports Philadelphia, WTTM 1680 (Spanish), and 94.1 WIP
- Wednesday, August 23, at 4:05 pm ET on NBC Sports Philadelphia, WTTM 1680 (Spanish), and 94.1 WIP
Game 1: Aaron Nola (RHP, 10-8, 4.58 ERA) vs. Scott Alexander (LHP, 6-2, 4.06 ERA)
Game 2: Taijuan Walker (RHP, 13-5, 4.03 ERA) vs. Kyle Harrison (LHP, MLB debut)
Game 3: Michael Lorenzen (RHP, 7-8, 3.57 ERA) vs. Alex Cobb (RHP, 6-5, 3.75 ERA)
By the Numbers
- Phillies: 67-57
- Giants: 65-59
- Run Differential
- Phillies: 44
- Giants: 8
- Runs Scored Per Game
- Phillies: 4.69
- Giants: 4.31
- Runs Allowed Per Game
- Phillies: 4.34
- Giants: 4.25