The Philadelphia Phillies will welcome the Baltimore Orioles to Citizens Bank Park for a two-game interleague set this week. The Phillies will look to stay hot after taking three of four against the division rival Washington Nationals.
Gabe Kapler likely feels good about the Phillies chances to sweep the two-game set, as the Orioles are a league-worst 24-59. Beyond that, though, Aaron Nola, in the midst of an All-Star caliber season, will pitch for the Phillies on Fourth of July. Tuesday evening, the Phillies will give the ball to Zach Eflin, who is coming off of a month of June in which he went 5-0 with a 1.76 ERA.
The worst-kept secret in the baseball world is that the Phillies covet Orioles shortstop Manny Machado. Jon Heyman of Fancred Sports reported last week that the Phillies, along with the Los Angeles Dodgers, have been the two most aggressive pursuers of Machado as we approach the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic added Tuesday morning that the Orioles are interested in Phillies shortstop/third baseman J.P. Crawford. Regardless of whether the Phillies trade for Machado this offseason or wait and attempt to sign him this offseason, it’s possible that the next time Machado plays at Citizens Bank Park, he’ll be donning red pinstripes.
In the meantime, the next two days will give Phillies fans a glimpse of the 25-year-old superstar. It may also give Machado himself a look at the bright future in Philadelphia.
Game 1: Zach Eflin (6-2, 3.02 ERA, 2.86 FIP) vs. Alex Cobb (2-9, 6.75 ERA, 5.13 FIP)
Game 2: Aaron Nola (10-2, 2.48 ERA, 2.77 FIP) vs. TBA
Where to Watch/Listen
TV: NBC Sports Philadelphia
Radio: SportsRadio 94 WIP
Radio: SportsRadio 94 WIP
- Aaron Nola, who will pitch in Game 2 of the series, has been dominant at home this season: 56.0 IP, 11 ER, 63 SO, 1.77 ERA
- Over his last 10 games, Rhys Hoskins has four home runs and 10 RBIs.
- In 21 career plate appearances against the Phillies, Machado has three home runs, four RBIs and two walks. He hit two of those home runs in the first two innings of the Phillies 19-3 loss to the Orioles at Camden Yards on June 16, 2015. You may remember that as the Bob McClure white towel game.
- Zach Britton, long thought to be a potential fit for the Phillies, has struggled mightily in his return from an Achilles tear. The two-time All-Star closer has racked up a 6.23 ERA and 5.76 FIP in his first nine appearances in 2018.
- Alex Cobb, who some thought made sense as a target for the Phillies this past offseason, signed a four-year/$57 million contract with the Orioles. By just about any measure, that deal looks disastrous currently, as Cobb has a 6.75 ERA, a 5.13 FIP and has lasted less than five innings in six of his 14 starts.