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Following blowout loss, Phillies turn to Velasquez

Bryce Harper is slashing .281/.388/.474 over the last 15 games. (Ian D’Andrea)

The Philadelphia Phillies (48-46) have not had a whole lot going well for them lately, but they will do their best to bounce back from an embarrassing loss on Monday as they play the second game of a four-game set with the Los Angeles Dodgers (63-33).

Philadelphia suffered a 14-run loss to open the series and are 4-6 in June. Since returning from the All-Star Break, the Phillies have lost three of four, falling 9.5 games back in the division. Surprisingly, the playoffs are still within reach. Heading into play on Tuesday, the Phillies are tied with the St. Louis Cardinals for the second Wild Card spot. The race is tight, though, with the Brewers, Diamondbacks, Rockies and Padres all within 2.5 games.

Philadelphia will attempt to reverse their fortunes on Tuesday behind right-hander Vince Velasquez. Since returning to the rotation in the middle of June, Velasquez has experienced mixed results. In his last three starts, he’s given up a combined seven runs in 14.1 innings of work, not making it past the fifth inning in any outing. His last game was one of his better starts, holding the Mets to two runs over five innings in a 7-2 win prior to the All-Star Break. The Montclair, California native has not started against the Dodgers this season, but he’s appeared in two games out of the bullpen. In 1.2 innings, he has allowed an earned run on three hits with two walks and two strikeouts.

Many would argue that pitching is the Phillies’ main issue, and they would be correct. The thing is that this team has a number of main issues, another one being their ability to score runs. Their lineup is armed with the likes of Bryce Harper, J.T. Realmuto, Rhys Hoskins and Jean Segura. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been consistent production from them or anyone else for that matter. The Phillies have just five wins in 39 games in which they score three runs or less. Tonight’s lineup has a bit of a different look to it with Segura and Maikel Franco being replaced by Brad Miller and Adam Haseley. Scott Kingery moves to the infield and Haseley mans center field.

Phillies Lineup

  1. Cesar Hernandez (2B)
  2. Scott Kingery (SS)
  3. Bryce Harper (RF)
  4. Rhys Hoskins (1B)
  5. Jay Bruce (LF)
  6. J.T. Realmuto (C)
  7. Brad Miller (3B)
  8. Adam Haseley (CF)
  9. Vince Velasquez (P)

Dodgers Lineup

  1. Joc Pederson (LF)
  2. Alex Verdugo (CF)
  3. Justin Turner (3B)
  4. Cody Bellinger (RF)
  5. Max Muncy (2B)
  6. A.J. Pollock (CF)
  7. Corey Seager (SS)
  8. Austin Barnes (C)
  9. Walker Buehler (P)

Shibe Vintage Sports Starting Pitching Matchup

  • Vince Velasquez (2-5, 4.63 ERA) vs. Walker Buehler (8-1, 3.46 ERA)
  • Velasquez has appeared out of the bullpen against the Dodgers this season. In his career against the NL West division leaders, Vince is 1-3 with a 7.91 ERA. However, in 6.2 innings against them in 2018, he allowed just two runs on four hits.
  • Buehler has faced the Phillies just twice in his career. He is 1-1 with a 7.94 ERA in 5.2 innings. In his last game against Arizona on July 17, Buehler went seven innings, allowing just three runs while striking out nine. He’s allowed three runs or less in five of his last six starts.

Pregame Phillies Nuggets

  • Philadelphia’s .147 winning-percentage in games that they have scored three runs or less is 14th among 15 National League teams
  • The Phillies were 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position and left the bases loaded twice in the first three innings during Monday night’s loss.
  • The current active Dodgers roster has a lifetime .261/.386/.478 slash line against Vince Velasquez. David Freese has two home runs in seven at-bats while Joc Pederson is 2-for-6 with a double.
  • In 94 games against right-handed pitchers this season (2,356 at-bats), the Phillies are hitting .241 as opposed to their .257 average against lefties in 833 at-bats.
  • Phillies outfielder Jay Bruce is hitting .467 with two doubles, two homers and 10 RBIs on Tuesday’s since joining the Phillies.

Programming Information

  • 7:05 p.m. on Tuesday, July 16 at Citizens Bank Park
  • NBC Sports Philadelphia, MLB Network (out-of-market only)
  • SportsRadio 94 WIP

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