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…
- Scott Kingery, center field
- Jean Segura, short stop
- Bryce Harper, right field
- Rhys Hoskins, first base
- J.T. Realmuto, catcher
- Jay Bruce, left field
- Cesar Hernandez, second base
- Brad Miller, third base
- Zach Eflin, pitcher
- Ronald Acuna Jr, center field
- Dansby Swanson, short stop
- Freddie Freeman, first base
- Josh Donaldson, third base
- Nick Markakis, right field
- Austin Riley, left field
- Brian McCann, catcher
- Ozzie Albies, second base
- 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)