Phillies to face rising star Soroka in Fourth of July Series Finale

Bryce Harper launched his 200th career home run and 1,000th hit all on one swing yesterday. (Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire)

The Philadelphia Phillies (45-41) will look to put behind a disastrous sixth inning display where Nick Pivetta and Juan Nicasio combined to give up six runs in a 9-2 loss to the first place Atlanta Braves (51-36). A win today puts the Phils within 4.5 games of first place in the NL East. A loss will knock the team out of both a National League Wild Card spot and second place in the division as the Nationals victory earlier today against the Marlins ties  Washington and Philadelphia in the win-loss column. 

The Phillies lineup will have their hands full once again as rookie sensation Mike Soraka gets the ball for the Braves. The 21-year-old Canadian-born right-hander was just selected to his first All-Star game and is pitching himself into Cy Young consideration. He’s not exactly known for his velocity nor for his ability to strike guys out, but he possesses an elite command of his two-seam fastball and is tops in the league at getting hitters to pop-up and ground out. The offense struggled mightily last night against Bryse Wilson early on once he established command of his fastball.

The bats will need to heat up quickly in order for the Phillies to have any chance of taking the series. Soraka only gets better as the game moves along. Hitters are batting only .181/.292/.289 in his third time through the order, so if the Phils are down by a handful through six with Soraka still in the game, you might as well go outside and watch some illegal fireworks on your front step. 


Here’s everything you need to know for tonight’s Fourth of July matchup…

Phillies Lineup

  1. Scott Kingery, center field
  2. Jean Segura, short stop
  3. Bryce Harper, right field
  4. Rhys Hoskins, first base
  5. J.T. Realmuto, catcher
  6. Jay Bruce, left field
  7. Cesar Hernandez, second base
  8. Brad Miller, third base
  9. Zach Eflin, pitcher

Braves Lineup

  1. Ronald Acuna Jr, center field
  2. Dansby Swanson, short stop
  3. Freddie Freeman, first base
  4. Josh Donaldson, third base
  5. Nick Markakis, right field
  6. Austin Riley, left field
  7. Brian McCann, catcher
  8. Ozzie Albies, second base
  9. Mike Soroka, pitcher

Shibe Vintage Sports Starting Pitching Matchup 

  • Zach Eflin (7-7, 3.34 ERA, 4.43 FIP) vs. Mike Soraka (9-1, 2.13 ERA, 3,16 FIP) 
  • Eflin is making his first start against the Atlanta Braves since August of 2017. He has not fared well in his career against Atlanta. In three starts, he has a 12.00 ERA and has given up 16 hits and three home runs. 
  • Soraka is making his first career start against the Phillies. 

Phillies Pregame Nuggets

  • On one swing of the bat, Bryce Harper notched his 200th career home run and 1,000th career hit last night. Harper has been on a tear recently. Over 11 games, he has launched four HRs, 10 RBIs, and has an OPS of 1.095. 
  • The Phillies will look to start a Fourth of July winning streak tonight. Last year, Aaron Nola pitched a gem as the team defeated the Baltimore Orioles 4-1 at Citizens Bank Park. 
  • Per Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Inquirer, reliever Juan Nicasio informed Gabe Kapler of a possible mid-left groin strain after his outing last night. The team will make the decision today as to whether or not the 32-year-old gets placed on the IL or not. Nicasio made 11 appearance for the Phillies in June, tied for the most on the team. 


Ticket IQ Programming Information 

  • Atlanta Braves @ SunTrust Park, 7:20 P.M. 


  • NBC Sports Philadelphia; ESPN (out-of-market only)


  • SportsRadio 94 WIP; WTTM 1680 (Spanish)


  1. Fleming Hill

    July 4, 2019 at 4:54 pm

    What is over/under on the Phillies strikeouts tonight?

    How about hits?

    This team can not sustain to be winning striking out a third of every at bat.

    Putting the ball in play gets things moving.
    But then our ownership and management realizes that!

    We the fans have been sold a bill of goods that simply does not perform!

    • Phanatic

      July 4, 2019 at 5:06 pm

      1. ‘We’re going to get our ducks in a row’

      2. ‘We trust our players’

      3. ‘He’s a professional’

      4. ‘Everything will even out at the end of the year’

      5. ‘We play as a team’

      6. ‘It is not fair to scapegoat one player’

      7. ‘We trust Matt Klentak’

      8. ‘Nobody in the clubhouse is panicking’

      9. “We’re going to be fine.’

      10. ‘We’re focused on the next game.’

      11. ‘ I believe in Bryce Harper with my entire being’

      12. ‘Jean Segura makes out team better’

      13. ‘We play our best baseball when Franco is at 3B’

      Gabe Kapler.

  2. Ken Bland

    July 4, 2019 at 6:13 pm

    Not fair asking you this after subjective stuff like that (subjective meaning you could probably find some quotes that shed the guy in a better light, though believe me, you make a point I am rather agreeable with, but here’s my question.

    Obviously, it would depend on who the manager would be, and what philosophy management was asking him to carry out, but let’s say generically and generally speaking, with another manager, at the 45-41 86 game mark at which they stand, what do you surmise the record would be heading into tonight.

    Selective points here just to offer a comparison, Pat Corrales was axed from first place with Paul Owens taking over in 1972ish at 42-40. I’ve slept since then, so I don’t remember, but I doubt that club had the expectations this club did. Now whether those expectations for this club were fair, well, that’s a separate story, but expectations can certainly be a measuring stick by which to change personnel. Cubs, for example, thought they were going to be good, and Theo’s all over the media today threatening to make huge changes a game out of first and slightly over .500.

    Long assed question, have fun with it.

  3. Phanatic

    July 4, 2019 at 8:30 pm

    Last year in the opener in Atlanta Gabe Kapler walked out of the Phillies dugout to take out a highly effective Aaron Nola for a pitcher who was not warming up in the bullpen. I was listening to the game on Braves radio. The Braves manager objected to this, was thrown out and the Braves announcers called what Gabe did ‘bush league.’ Yes, they used that term ‘bush league.’ Every time I see Gabe Kapler I hear the Braves announcers calling him ‘bush league.’

    In August of last year after the trade deadline, the Phillies suffered the worst collapse in baseball history. The Phils got rid of Santana who is now an All-Star in Cleveland and also got rid of the pitching coach who is now coaching for the first place Braves. The Phillies signed and traded for All-Stars who have all tanked this year. None of them made the all-star game. Realmuto doesn’t count because he is there only because someone on this poorly managed team has to be.

    Gabe Kapler answers questions about his failing team with robotic answers while he turns his head up and to the side and bats his eyelashes. Do you ever think that you’re getting an honest answer from this guy? He talks like a politician who knows he is lying to you. His boss has to tell him in the offseason to be straight with people. When asked what the discipline will be for Cesar not running he says it is not acceptable and will be dealt with swiftly and with authority. Meanwhile Cesar is in the lineup the next game and to my knowledge has been in every game since. Maybe his players don’t play for him because he has made a country club out of the place. We need a U.S. Grant and not a George B. McClellan.

    This is Gabe Kapler. When the team doesn’t pitch, don’t expect Gabe to get them to hit their way out of it. When it doesn’t hit, don’t expect Gabe to pitch their way out of it. How many games have the Phillies won because Gabe Kapler is our manager?

    Aaron Boone who is in his second year is coaching the Yankees to 55-29 after having an entire team of all-stars on the IL. Boone was trying to coach a team with guys off the street. He is still facing injury problems but his team keeps winning.

    So to answer you question: 55-29 and in first place. It is because I am so sick and tired of Gabe Kapler that I have turned on this team and am actively rooting for it to fail and fail spectacularly.

    Go Braves and Go Nats.

    • Ken Bland

      July 4, 2019 at 9:44 pm

      wow, 55-29? That much better? You must think their personnel has a good amount more potential than I do. I was thinking maybe 4-6 more wins. I really can’t stand the way the pitching staff is handled. I look at boxscores and see so many starters around the game yanked at 100 pitches. That part isn’t Kapler as much as the philosophy from above and around the game. ZThat’s not my cup of tea. My thing is watching a workhorse get stronger as the game goes on. So as an industry “problem” the deal is bigger than Kapler. My big gripe with Kapler is guys are well under 100, and he yanks them. Against the Mets, Arietta was pulled for a pinch hitter at 82 pitches in the 6th. And that was after the Phils took a 2 run lead in that top half frame.

      Thanks for the reply.

  4. Jeff Orbach

    July 5, 2019 at 9:18 am

    What bothers me the most, is it seems like they have no plan about when they are going to use these guys.

    To me it all comes back to something that Keith Hernandez said earlier in the season about the Phils having the most undisciplined clubhouse he’s ever seen.

    Kapler along with Malee and the pitching coach have to go.

    • Phanatic

      July 5, 2019 at 9:54 am

      I always listen to the opponent’s radio broadcast of the games, and I never hear the opponents say good things about the Phillies. That to me is telling when the opponent has no respect for anything about the Phillies.

      Gabe Kapler and the Phillies are not going to ruin my summer. I am rooting against them and hope THEY have the most miserable summer they have ever had. It is supposed to rain this weekend in New York. My hope is that not only do they get swept, which is probable when one looks at the pitching matchups, but that they have to sit through long rain delays in getting swept. And that at times they have to play in rain and get soaking wet while getting swept, remaining in 3rd place and falling 9 1/2 games back. Then I hope Kapler gets FIRED while he is still in his soaking wet uniform. And if the dugout shelters him from getting soaking wet, then I hope there is a big leak in the dugout which dumps rain all over him. I hope also that Affirmative Action Realmuto never gets into the All-Star Game and that Santana hits the HR that wins it for the AL while Hoskins is sitting in the front row watching.

      Go Braves. Go Nats. Go Mets. Heck, go Marlins.

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