Philadelphia Phillies ace Aaron Nola pitched eight shutout innings Tuesday night against the Atlanta Braves, helping the Phillies to to take the first of a crucial three-game series against their division rivals as the All-Star Break looms. Nola, who finished third in National League Cy Young Award voting in 2018, appears to be back in that form, which is a major development as the Phillies look to reach the postseason for the first time since 2011. The problem for Gabe Kapler’s squad, who enter Wednesday night four-and-a-half games back of the Braves in the National League East, is they don’t possess much in the way of stable starting pitching behind Nola.
Nick Pivetta has by-and-large struggled in 2019, which many expected to be a breakout season for the Canadian-born righty. However, after regrouping for more than a month at Triple-A Lehigh Valley, Pivetta posted a a 1.80 ERA in his first three starts after being recalled – including throwing a complete game against the Cincinnati Reds on June 8. Since tossing his first career complete game, though, Pivetta has allowed seven home runs and posted a 7.13 ERA in three starts.
With All-Star right-hander Mike Soroka slated to pitch in the series finale Thursday for the Braves, it would seemingly behoove Pivetta and the Phillies to clinch a series victory tonight, rather than setting up a rubber match on Independence Day.
Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Wednesday evening’s Phillies-Braves tilt:
- Scott Kingery, center fielder
- Jean Segura, shortstop
- Bryce Harper, right fielder
- Rhys Hoskins, first base
- J.T. Realmuto, catcher
- Jay Bruce, left field
- Cesar Hernandez, second base
- Maikel Franco, third base
- Nick Pivetta, pitcher
- Ronald Acuna Jr., center field
- Dansby Swanson, shortstop
- Freddie Freeman, first base
- Josh Donaldson, third base
- Nick Markakis, right field
- Austin Riley, left field
- Ozzie Albies, second base
- Tyler Flowers, catcher
- Bryse Wilson, pitcher
Shibe Vintage Sports Starting Pitching Matchup
- Nick Pivetta (4-2, 5.63 ERA and 5.82 FIP) vs. Bryse Wilson (0-0, 8.31 ERA and 5.63 FIP)
- Pivetta has pitched against the Braves twice this season. On March 30, he allowed eight hits and four runs over just four innings in an eventual Phillies win at Citizens Bank Park. On June 14, he again surrendered eight hits and four runs at the hands of the Braves, but this time did it over 6.2 innings, while exhausting 117 pitches in Atlanta. The 26-year-old righty is 2-0 with a 3.41 ERA in six career starts at SunTrust Park.
- One of Wilson’s three appearances at the major league level in 2019 came against Pivetta and the Phillies on March 30. In that game, which the Phillies would eventually win 8-6, Wilson, 21, allowed five hits and four earned runs in less than four innings.
Pregame Phillies Nuggets
- Bryce Harper went 0-4 Tuesday night, meaning he remains both one hit away from 1,000 for his career and one home run away from 200.
- In the least surprising development of the 2019 baseball season, Freddie Freeman is hitting .370 against the Phillies in 2019.
- Since being acquired by the Phillies in early June, Jay Bruce is hitting .272 with seven home runs and 22 RBIs. His .294 on-base percentage as a Phillies obviously isn’t optimal, but that’s somewhat negated by the fact that he has a .605 slugging percentage in 81 at-bats as a Phillie.
- SunTrust Park
- 7:20 p.m. ET
- NBC Sports Philadelphia
- SportsRadio 94 WIP
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