Welcome to the Chooch series. When the Phillies play the Mariners, there really is nothing to hang on, but this time there is: Carlos Ruiz is back in Philadelphia. The catcher who received the final pitch of the Phils’ second world championship will certainly be feted over this two-game series. Also, yes, this is a two-game series.
What to expect
Despite being the team that everyone seems to love (including this writer), the Mariners haven’t been very good this season. At 15-17, they’re better than the Phils by record, but they’re looking way up at the first-place Astros – and how. The ‘stros are 21-11. So I’d imagine two very close-played games between two relatively flawed teams.
Tuesday, 7:05 p.m., Ariel Miranda (3-2, 3.55 ERA) vs. Jerad Eickhoff (0-3, 4.00 ERA)
Miranda has pitched better than average this season, though he doesn’t necessarily have strikeout stuff. He had a nice outing last time out against the Angels. Eickhoff, meanwhile, has hit some rough spots in his last two games, giving up five runs to the Dodgers and four runs to the Cubs.
Wednesday, 1:05 p.m., Yovani Gallardo (1-3, 4.46 ERA) vs. Zach Eflin (0-0, 2.42 ERA)
Ah, Yovani Gallardo. The 31-year-old veteran has a 3.08 ERA against the Phillies. That’s better than any season ERA he has ever had as a full-time pitcher. Last year he put up a 5.42 ERA for Baltimore; this year, he has already allowed 38 hits in 34 innings. If there’s a time to have an offensive explosion, this might be it. Meanwhile, Eflin has been Mr. Quality Start, going seven in his last three starts and giving up just six runs, total.