2017 Series Preview

Series Preview: San Francisco Giants (22-33) at Philadelphia Phillies (17-34), June 2-4

San_Francisco_Giants_logo_2000.pngThe moment we have all been waiting for … the month of May is finally over! The Phillies finished the month with a 6-22 record, ending it by being swept by the Miami Marlins.

Let’s hope the flip of the calendar will give the team a fresh start to start the steep climb back to relevancy.

What to Expect

The Phillies simply can’t get much worse, which I guess is a good thing. The team enters the series with the worst record in baseball, but the Giants are facing their own set of struggles. They only have one less loss than the Phils and sit at the bottom of the NL West after being swept by the Nationals earlier this week. Shockingly, the Giants are even lower than the Phils in batting average and are dead last in the league in OBP, .SLG, and OPS. This can be an opportunity for the Phils to gain some confidence.

Pitching Matchups

Friday: Ty Blach (3-2, 3.83 ERA) vs. Jerad Eickhoff (0-5, 4.74 ERA), 7:05 p.m.

A bit of bad luck seemed to curse Eickhoff in April where he pitched fairly well (3.56 ERA) despite his 0-2 record in five starts. In May, however, Eickhoff was the master behind his own demise. He has only had one quality start since April 16 and is 0-3 with a 6.08 ERA in his last five starts. He has a chance to right the ship Friday as the Giants only have one player who has faced him before.

Similarly, Howie Kendrick is the only Phillie who has faced Blach. Blach has won his last three starts and has a 2.51 ERA in his last four. He is downright unhittable at AT&T Park but boasts a lofty 9.45 ERA in his two away starts. Let’s hope the Phils can capitalize.

Saturday: Johnny Cueto (5-4, 4.37 ERA) vs. TBD, 4:05 p.m.

After Vince Velasquez went down with a right elbow flexor strain (say that five times fast), Ben Lively will most likely get his first major league start on Saturday. The right-hander doesn’t have overwhelming stuff but he was been successful since being traded to the Phils from the Reds. He won 18 games last year for the IronPigs and is currently 6-1 with a 2.40 ERA in Lehigh Valley.

Although it’s difficult to remember the last time the Phillies were successful against a pitcher, Cueto has struggled in 11 games against them. He’s 1-4 with a 5.37 ERA. In six starts at Citizens Bank Park, he’s allowed 20 earned runs, including six homers and 11 walks.

Sunday: Matt Moore (2-6, 4.98 ERA) vs. Jeremy Hellickson (5-3, 4.45 ERA), 1:35 p.m.

Hellickson wasn’t immune to the wrath of the May. After shutting it down in April with a 4-0 record and 1.80 ERA, Hellickson unraveled. In six starts, Hellickson gave up 24 earned runs, including 9 home runs and only pitched six innings twice. He’s had success against the Giants, giving up just one run in a 3-2 win last season.

Moore started out May on a rocky note, giving up nine runs in 3.1 innings, but has since rebounded. In five starts since, he has a 2.83 ERA and has pitched at least six innings in four of them.

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