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Series Previews

Pivetta looks to regroup in makeup game against Machado, Orioles

Nick Pivetta (left) will look to regroup against Manny Machado (right) and the Orioles. (Ian D’Andrea, Keith Allison/Wikimedia Commons)

When Nick Pivetta started at Camden Yards against the Baltimore Orioles on May 16, he turned in arguably the finest start of his career, tossing seven innings of one run ball, while allowing just two hits and striking out 11. Nearly two months later, the Phillies will play a makeup game for their rained-out May 15 contest against the Orioles, with Pivetta getting the ball again.

As our Matthew Veasey noted, Pivetta is 0-5 over his last eight starts with a 6.81 ERA. Still, when his breaking pitches have been on this year, he’s looked like a front-line starter. There was the aforementioned start in Baltimore earlier this season, along with a 13-strikeouts performance against the St. Louis Cardinals, wedged into a month of June that saw him post a 7.71 ERA. As the non-waiver trade deadline nears, Pivetta, just days after Enyel De Los Santos’ impressive major league debut, needs to put together a quality start Thursday.

Oh, and the Phillies will see Manny Machado tonight, perhaps for the final time this season. Or perhaps not.

Pitching Matchup

Nick Pivetta (5-7, 4.62 ERA, 3.75 FIP) vs. Kevin Gausman (4-6, 4.11 ERA, 4.38 FIP)


Where to Watch/Listen

TV: NBC Sports Philadelphia

Radio: SportsRadio 94 WIP

Series Notes

  • It’s been a disappointing first-half for Orioles second baseman Jonathan Schoop, but the 26-year-old is off to a scorching-hot start in July. After batting just .144 in June, Schoop is slashing .415/.415/.707 with two home runs in his first 41 at-bats this month.
  • The Phillies went 5-15 in interleague play in 2017. They are currently 8-4 in interleague play in 2018, which is the third best record in interleague play in the league.
  • Orioles manager Buck Showalter became the 22nd manager in baseball history to reach 3,000 games managed on Wednesday. His future – like nearly every person in the Orioles organization – is unclear beyond this year.
  • Mark Trumbo has nine home runs since June 17, one of which came at Citizens Bank Park on July 3.
  • Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reported late Wednesday evening that the Phillies have trade interest in Orioles closer Zach Britton, a two-time All-Star. Britton has allowed just two hits in four appearances in July.
  • And then there’s Manny Machado. I wrote Wednesday that the Phillies are playing a dangerous, probably smart game with Manny Machado. That doesn’t mean their risk will pay off, of course. Meanwhile, the latest on Machado is that the Phillies are unwilling to part with No. 1 overall prospect Sixto Sanchez to acquire him, per Jim Bowden of CBS Sports. Jon Heyman of Fancred Sports says that while the Phillies still covet Machado, they have begun to feel discouraged about their chances to land him before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.

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