As the Phillies coaching staff and bench players returned to the dugout following the national anthem on Wednesday night, a roar was heard from the first base side of Citizens Bank Park. Fans seated behind the Phillies dugout were loudly acknowledging new Phillies hitting coach and legendary manager Charlie Manuel as he turned his back towards them to take a seat on the bench and watch his team go to work just like he used to. Those same fans, along with the other 27,204 in attendance, would salute Manuel again with “CHAR-LIE” chants after J.T. Realmuto deposited a ball into the left field seats for his second grand slam in less than a month, giving the Phillies a 10-0 lead.
It’s silly to say that Manuel deserves all the credit for last night’s offensive explosion, but perhaps it is indeed hittin’ season. Finally.
The entire starting lineup registered at least one hit including starting pitcher Aaron Nola, who came into this game a mere 3 for 45. Bryce Harper and J.T. Realmuto led the way with a combined seven RBIs.
There is still work to be done tonight as the Phillies will try to pull off a three-game sweep of the National League Central leading Chicago Cubs. They will face Yu Darvish, who has struggled mightily in the first-half of the season, but has improved since the all-star break. The Phillies will send Drew Smyly to the mound. He is coming off two rough starts against the White Sox and Giants where he has given up a combined nine earned runs in 10.2 innings.
Here’s everything you need to know for tonight’s Throwback Thursday series finale…
- Rhys Hoskins, first base
- Bryce Harper, right field
- J.T. Realmuto, catcher
- Corey Dickerson, left field
- Jean Segura, short stop
- Cesar Hernandez, second base
- Scott Kingery, third base
- Adam Haseley, center field
- Drew Smyly, pitcher
- Albert Almora Jr. center field
- Nicholas Castellanos, right field
- Kris Bryant, third base
- Anthony Rizzo, first base
- Javy Baez, short stop
- David Bote, second base
- Kyle Schwarber, left field
- Victor Caratini, catcher
- Yu Darvish, pitcher
Shibe Vintage Sports Starting Pitching Performance
- Drew Smyly (2-6, 6.96 ERA, 6.86 FIP, 5.58 xFIP) vs. Yu Darvish (4-6, 4.43 ERA, 4.75 FIP, 3.86 xFIP)
- Smyly is making his first career start against the Cubs. He signed a two-year, $10 million dollar deal with the Cubs back in 2017. He made one minor league appearance during his time with the club.
- In three career starts against the Phillies, Darvish has been good. He is 1-0 with a 1.96 ERA, striking out 23 batters in just over 18 innings of work.
Pregame Phillies Nuggets
- Realmuto has been sizzling hot since hitting his last grand slam on July 28 against the Atlanta Braves. 11 of his 19 hits within the almost three week span have gone for extra bases and he has an OPS of 1.067.
- Earlier this season, Darvish walked hitters at an alarming pace. Through his first thirteen starts, he had the highest walk rate in the majors (15%). His walk rate has dropped down to just 2.7% since those first thirteen starts.
- There seems to be another fashion trend in the Phillies clubhouse. Harper has ditched headbands in favor of an embroidered pintail duck hat. Both Harper and Nola were wearing the hat during their post-game interviews in the clubhouse on Monday night. You can buy that hat here but be warned, the hat is on back-order for two weeks. Once these hats ship, Harper may be sporting another odd item of clothing.
— Dave Uram (@MrUram) August 15, 2019
Ticket IQ Programming Information
- 7:05 P.M. at Citizens Bank Park
- NBC Sports Philadelphia
- 1210 WPHT (Eagles game is on 94 WIP); WTTM 1680 (Spanish)