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Phillies need Jake Arrieta to step up and cool off hot Dbacks

The Phillies need a big outing from Jake Arrieta to cool down the red-hot Arizona bats. (Ian D’Andrea)

The Philadelphia Phillies (37-29) and Arizona Diamondbacks (35-32) will meet again on Tuesday night at Citizens Bank Park. Last night the two clubs combined for 13 home runs to set a new Major League Baseball record.

Whereas Monday night’s tilt was delayed at the outside by rain on what was a dreary weather day in the Philly area, today will be just the opposite. Clear skies and steady breeze will be the conditions under which they will play on Tuesday evening.

For the Phillies, it will mark the first time since late April that they open a game not sitting alone on top of the National League East Division standings. Their loss on Monday coupled with a victory by the Atlanta Braves left the two rivals tied. The Phillies and Braves will meet this weekend in Atlanta in what should be a real barn-burner of a series.

But before that takes place, the Phillies need to find a way to cool down the red-hot Diamondbacks. Arizona has now won five straight games, and they are within 2.5 games of the final NL Wildcard playoff berth. They have scored the most runs and have the fourth-highest OPS in the entire league.

One key for the Phillies, perhaps the biggest, will be getting a strong performance from starting pitcher Jake Arrieta. The 33-year-old veteran right-hander leads the starting rotation with eight Quality Starts. However, Arrieta has been shelled in his last two outings, and has not looked good in four of his last six, incurring the wrath of some in the fan base and on local sports talk radio.




Phillies: The Phillies bullpen remains decimated by injuries with seven key relievers currently on the IL. Also, outfielders Andrew McCutchen, Roman Quinn, and Adam Haseley are out. However, both Quinn and reliever Edubray Ramos are on rehab assignments and could rejoin the team within the next week.

Dbacks: Three of Arizona’s projected key hitters are either on the IL or otherwise struggling with injuries in outfielder Steven Souza Jr.and infielders Nick Ahmed, Jake Lamb, and Wilmer Flores, yet it hasn’t slowed their offense one bit. Bigger losses have been pitchers Taijuan Walker and Luke Weaver.



Jake Arrieta, Phillies: 5-5, 4.29 ERA, 1.431 WHIP, 82 hits allowed over 79.2 IP across 13 starts with a 65/32 K:BB

Jon Duplantier, Dbacks: 1-0, 3.27 ERA, 1.136 WHIP, 17 hits allowed over 22 IP across 7 games (2 starts) with a 23/8 K:BB. Duplantier is a 24-year-old right-hander who bats left. The rookie was the Dbacks third round pick in the 2016 MLB Draft.



  • The Phillies have won 22 of their 34 games at Citizens Bank Park this season and their .647 winning percentage at home ranks third in the National League.
  • Since 2017, the Phillies are just 3-10 against the Diamondbacks and have been outscored 63-37 in those 13 contests, their worst record against any team in baseball since the start of 2017. The Phillies are 0-4 in their last four series against the D-backs and have not won a series since they swept a three-gamer at Chase Field from June 27-29, 2016.
  • Arrieta has nine career starts vs Arizona: 4-3, 2.23 ERA, 0.989 WHIP, 45 hits allowed over 60.2 IP. He made two strong starts against them a year ago with the Phillies, allowing seven hits over 15 innings. He beat them in April at Citizens Bank Park, then took a tough 3-2 loss in Arizona on August 6.
  • J.T. Realmuto leads the Phillies and all catchers in baseball with 2.6 WAR. He has moved into the top 10 among all NL position players in WAR (Fangraphs) as well.
  • The Phillies Phestival to benefit ALS research will be held during an off-day on Thursday at Citizens Bank Park. Since the Phillies adopted ALS in 1984 as their primary charity, over $18 million has been raised for patient care and services in the Greater Philadelphia area.




Phillies fans need to stop feeding into “Jake Arrieta stinks” nonsense

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