After another stellar performance from Aaron Nola on Tuesday night in Boston, the Philadelphia Phillies (65-60) look to sweep their brief two-game set against the Red Sox (67-60) at Fenway Park this evening. The Phillies remain right in the mix for a Wild Card spot with 37 games to play. They trail the Cubs by two games and Philadelphia is also neck-and-neck with the Mets.
Meanwhile, Boston finds themselves on the outside looking in from a bigger deficit. They’re 16 games back of the first place Yankees and six games behind the second place Rays in the AL East. Boston trails the Rays and A’s by six games for the final Wild Card spot in the American League.
The Phillies’ offense has come back to earth a little after scoring 22 runs against the Cubs last week. Over their last three games, they have been held to three runs or less, so they’ll be relying heavily on starting pitching, Drew Smyly specifically, to keep them in tonight’s match-up. The veteran left-hander has not had a great month of August, allowing 14 earned runs in 15.2 innings of work.
Smyly’s opposition, Rick Porcello, has had an uneven go of it recently. He’s given up one run in two of his last four starts. In the other two, he’s combined to give up 11 runs.
Here’s how the Phils and Red Sox will line up tonight:
- Rhys Hoskins (1B)
- Bryce Harper (RF)
- J.T. Realmuto (C)
- Corey Dickerson (LF)
- Jean Segura (SS)
- Logan Morrison (DH)
- Scott Kingery (3B)
- Cesar Hernandez (2B)
- Adam Haseley (CF)
Red Sox Lineup
- Mookie Betts (RF)
- Rafael Devers (3B)
- Xander Bogaerts (SS)
- J.D. Martinez (DH)
- Andrew Benintendi (LF)
- Sam Travis (1B)
- Christian Vazquez (C)
- Marco Hernandez (2B)
- Jackie Bradley Jr. (CF)
Shibe Vintage Sports Starting Pitching Matchup
- Drew Smyly (2-6, 7.09 ERA) vs. Rick Porcello (11-9, 5.49 ERA)
- Smyly has a good track record against the Red Sox, although he hasn’t started against them since 2016. In 10 appearances (8 starts) against them during his career, he’s 3-1 with a 2.18 ERA spanning 53.2 innings. He’s 1-1 with a 2.87 ERA in five starts at Fenway Park. Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts each have hit two doubles and two homers against Smyly.
- Porcello has faced the Phillies four times in his career, going 2-1 with a 4.32 ERA. Jean Segura is 4-9 with a homer against Porcello while utility men Brad Miller and Logan Morrison have a combined nine doubles, seven homers and 18 RBIs in 87 at-bats against Porcello. Bryce Harper is 0-7 with three strikeouts.
Pregame Phillies Nuggets
- The last time the Phillies swept Boston in a full series was all the way back in 2000. The teams have met in 15 of the last 19 years since with Boston holding a 36-18 advantage.
- Over the past five games, the Red Sox bullpen has allowed just one earned run in 23.1 innings. That is good for an ERA of 0.39.
- Phillies All-Star catcher, J.T. Realmuto, is hitting .320 over his last 25 at-bats with three doubles and three home runs. Meanwhile, Bryce Harper is eight for his last 21 with a double, four homers and 10 RBIs.
- Maikel Franco played his fourth game for the Ironpigs on Tuesday after returning from the Triple-A disabled list with a left hand contusion. He went 2-for-5 with a double, triple, two runs scored and an RBI. He’s 3-for-16 at the plate since his demotion.
- Phillies Wall of Fame first baseman Jim Thome appeared on MLB Network Wednesday morning, singing Charlie Manuel’s praises.
- 7:10 p.m. on Tuesday, August 21 at Fenway Park
- NBC Sports Philadelphia
- SportsRadio 94 WIP
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