The Philadelphia Phillies (28-19) woke up this morning in the Windy City with the club sitting at nine games over the .500 mark for the first time since last September 2.
On Tuesday night at Wrigley Field the Phillies will try to clinch at least a tie from this four-game series with the host Chicago Cubs (27-18) as the two first-place teams continue their battle. In last night’s wild series opener, the Phillies captured a 5-4 victory in 10 innings.
The Phillies have now won four straight close affairs to fashion their first four-game winning streak since capturing the first four of the 2019 season. During this stretch, the Phillies have won three times by a single run and won by two runs in the other game.
From July 31 through August 5 of last season the Phillies won five in a row. That pushed the club to 15 games over the .500 mark for the first time since the 2011 season. It was also the last time that the team won five straight games. They won six in a row twice during last season. On Tuesday night they will try to get five straight for the first time in the 2019 season.
TUESDAY STARTING LINEUPS
- Andrew McCutchen LF
- Jean Segura SS
- Bryce Harper RF
- Rhys Hoskins 1B
- J.T. Realmuto C
- Cesar Hernandez 2B
- Scott Kingery CF
- Maikel Franco 3B
- Zach Eflin P
- Kyle Schwarber LF
- Kris Bryant 3B
- Anthony Rizzo 1B
- Wilson Contreras C
- Jason Heyward RF
- Albert Almora CF
- Daniel Descalso 2B
- Addison Russell SS
- Jose Quintana P
Phillies: Starting pitcher Vince Velasquez hopes to throw a bullpen this week after suffering a strained elbow and being placed on the IL back on May 11. Relievers David Robertson, Tommy Hunter, Edubray Ramos and Victor Arano remain on the Injured List. None is close to a return at this point. Outfielder Roman Quinn has ramped up running as he continues recovering after suffering a groin strain. He will not return for this series.
Cubs: Electric shortstop Javier Baez will miss a second straight game in this series with a heel injury suffered in Sunday’s game. He could see action as a pinch-hitter and is considered day-to-day at this point. Reliever Pedro Strop is on the IL with a hamstring injury and will miss this series. Also out from the Cubs pen mix are Brandon Morrow and Kendall Graveman, both with elbow injuries. Graveman underwent Tommy John surgery in July 2018.
SHIBE VINTAGE SPORTS STARTING PITCHING MATCHUP
- Zach Eflin: 5-4, 2.89 ERA, 1.089 WHIP, 52 hits allowed over 56 innings across nine starts with a 45/9 K:BB ratio.
- Following three straight Quality Starts, Eflin was whacked around by Milwaukee last Thursday at Citizens Bank Park. He surrendered four earned runs on seven hits over five innings in that afternoon affair.
- Eflin is 1-1 with a 3.20 ERA over three appearances against the Cubs, against whom he has not allowed a home run over 19.2 innings. The righty has made two career starts at Wrigley, one in each of the past two seasons, and lasted at least seven innings in both.
- Jose Quintana: 4-3, 3.68 ERA, 1.266 WHIP, 50 hits allowed over 51.1 innings across nine outings, eight starts with a 50/15 K:BB ratio.
- The 30-year old lefty from Colombia lasted just five innings in his most recent start on Thursday in Cincinnati. He surrendered three earned runs on six hits in suffering his second straight loss.
- Quintana has faced the Phillies just four times over his eight-year big-league career. He tossed a pair of no-decisions against them last season, allowing just six hits over 11.2 innings, striking out 17 while walking just three batters.
PHILLIES NUGGETS PREGAME NOTES
- Monday night’s extra-inning victory was the first win for the Phillies this season when trailing after eight innings. They had been 0-14 prior to last night’s rally.
- Jean Segura‘s game-tying base hit in the top of the 9th on Monday night extended his hitting streak out to 11 games.
- Bryce Harper worked a walk on Monday night and has now reached base safely in all 19 career games that he has played at Wrigley Field.
- Hector Neris has converted 10 straight Saves since last May 21, the second-longest streak of his career. In those last 10 save opportunities, Neris has pitched 11.1 innings, allowing just three hits and a walk with 15 strikeouts. He has a miniscule 0.98 ERA since allowing a pair of runs on Opening Day.
- Juan Nicasio earned his first Save with the Phillies on Monday night. The veteran right-hander has not allowed an earned run in his last 11.1 innings over 10 appearances.
- In a 14-game stretch at the start of May, 27-year-old third baseman Kris Bryant slashed .377/.500/.906 with eight homers and 17 RBIs. But after going 0-5 in Monday’s series opener he is now just 1-12 over his last three games. Hopefully the Phillies are catching him just as he cools down.
- Joe Maddon is now in his fifth season as the Cubs manager. He was at the helm of the Tampa Bay Rays during their 2008 World Series loss to the Phillies. Maddon now has a 1,195-1,008 record as a big-league skipper. The wins total is 43rd all-time in MLB, with only Bruce Bochy, Terry Francona and Clint Hurdle ahead of him among active managers.
- The Phillies have announced that their recent “Phantastic Auction” raised a record $205,000 to benefit Phillies Charities, Inc.
TUESDAY PROGRAMMING INFORMATION
- Tuesday May 21 at 8:05 pm EDT vs. the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field
- TV: NBC Sports Philadelphia; also being covered nationally by ESPN
- Radio: SportsRadio 94 WIP, WTTM 1680 (Spanish)
MORE FROM PHILLIES NATION:
- Hector Neris is born again hard as the Phillies closer
- Cesar Hernandez silencing critics with a solid season
- Big games from Hernandez and Realmuto lead Phillies to win over Cubs
- Larry Shenk’s Phillies Minor League Report: 5/21/19
- New Phillies batting helmets feature a 3D tweak
- Mickey Moniak and Adam Haseley may be breaking out at Clearwater
- National League East Report: Week of 5/13-5/19/19