Phillies and Cardinals continue battle of first-place clubs

The Phillies continue their series with the host Saint Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on Tuesday night. (Kevin Ward)

The Philadelphia Phillies (19-15) lead the National League East Division standings by 1.5 games, two in the loss column, over the Atlanta Braves with the New York Mets four back and the Washington Nationals five back in the loss column.

The Saint Louis Cardinals (21-14) lead the National League Central Division standings by a half-game and .006 percentage points over their arch-rivals, the Chicago Cubs. However, the Cubbies have one fewer loss that than the Cards, who have played three more games.

On Tuesday night the two division leaders will meet in the second game of a three-game set at Busch Stadium III in Saint Louis. The Cards took the opener by a dominating 6-0 on Monday night with the Phillies offense producing just five hits.

Prior to last night’s white-washing the Phillies offense had been rolling, scoring 26 runs over the previous four games. but this was also the 14th time in their first 34 games that the lineup has produced three or fewer runs. It has very much been an all-or-nothing group.

The Cardinals had dropped four straight games prior to Monday night. Before that little mini-losing skid they were scorching hot, with 10 wins over the prior 11 games to get back into the central race following a slow start to the season.



  1. Andrew McCutchen
  2. Jean Segura
  3. Bryce Harper
  4. Rhys Hoskins
  5. J.T. Realmuto
  6. Odubel Herrera
  7. Cesar Hernandez
  8. Maikel Franco
  9. Aaron Nola


  1. Matt Carpenter
  2. Paul Goldschmidt
  3. Paul DeJong
  4. Marcell Ozuna
  5. Jose Martinez
  6. Yadier Molina
  7. Dexter Fowler
  8. Kolten Wong
  9. Dakota Hudson


  • Aaron Nola: 2-0, 5.06 ERA, 1.607 WHIP, 44 hits allowed over 37.1 IP with a 38/16 K:BB
  • Nola has been way off his 2018 pace. He has allowed at least seven hits in his last five starts. Looked better over his last two outings, allowing just two runs over 12.1 IP but with just 10 strikeouts and four walks, 14 hits allowed.
  • Nola has pitched well during his career against Saint Louis: 2-2 record with a 2.84 ERA, 17 hits allowed over 25.1 IP across four starts with a 27/6 K:BB. In three games at Busch Stadium he is 1-2 with a 3.50 ERA, 13 hits over 18 IP with a 19/4 K:BB ratio.
  • Dakota Hudson: 2-2, 4.80 ERA, 1.733 WHIP, 37 hits allowed 30 IP with a 26/15 K:BB
  • Hudson is a 24-year-old rookie-eligible who made 26 appearances last season, all as a reliever. This season has made six starts over seven appearances. This will be his first career appearance against the Phillies.
  • Hudson is a native of Chattanooga, Tennessee who was the Cardinals first round pick at 34th overall in the 2016 MLB Draft out of Mississippi State.



  • With this series the Phillies have begun a stretch of 35 games outside the NL East Division. They had played 23 of their first 32 games within their division, more than any other team in baseball.
  • The Phillies are now just 3-13 in Saint Louis over their last 16 games following last night’s defeat. They are just 12-25 at Busch Stadium since the start of the 2010 season, and have not won a series in Saint Louis since 2012.
  • The Phillies are 14-4 when they score first, 16-4 when scoring four or more runs, 17-1 when leading after six innings, 10-1 when they out-hit their opponents, and 16-6 when hitting at least one home run.
  • Over their last 11 starts the Phillies pitching rotation has accumulated a 2.81 ERA, the best in the National League, with the club posting a 7-4 record over that span.
  • Rhys Hoskins is slugging .620 against right-handed pitching in 2019, fourth-best among all qualified hitters in baseball. For his career, Hoskins has a .572 slugging percentage against righties, ranking 5th among all righty bats in MLB since 1974.
  • J.T. Realmuto has thrown out 10 of 21 base stealers (47.6%), which is both the most base stealers thrown out and the
    highest percentage among all catchers in baseball. Realmuto leads all players in MLB in overall defensive value per FanGraphs’ “Defensive” metric with his 7.7 fielding runs above average.
  • Outfielder Marcell Ozuna has faced Nola more than any Cardinals player, and over 19 at-bats is hitting .316 off the Phillies righty with two home runs. Dexter Fowler has beaten Nola up over their careers to the tune of a .571 average with two homers.



  • Tuesday May 7 at 7:45 pm vs. the Saint Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium
  • TV: NBC Sports Philadelphia; MLB Network (out-of-market only)
  • Radio: SportsRadio 94 WIP, WTTM 1680 (Spanish)




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