The Philadelphia Phillies (76-71) find themselves 3.5 games out of the last NL Wild Card spot, looking to split a two game weekend set against the Boston Red Sox (78-70). The team squandered their fifth consecutive chance to gain ground in the postseason race with their ace Aaron Nola on the mound, who pitched his best game since dominating the BoSox the first time around in a two-game series up at Fenway in August. Hector Neris, who has been nothing short of spectacular since giving up three earned runs in a blown save against the Dodgers on July 16, was unable to hold off the Sox in the ninth and once again, the Phillies offense let their bullpen and starting arm down.
The team will try to rebound with Jason Vargas on the mound. He is still looking for his first win of his young Phillies career. He will be opposed by Rick Porcello, who has struggled mightily in the final year of his 4-year, $82 million deal. The 2016 Cy Young award winner gave up six earned runs on seven hits in only four innings against the Yankees at Fenway in his last start.
Here’s everything you need to know for home game #79 against the Red Sox…
Red Sox Lineup
- Andrew Benintendi, center field
- Xander Bogaerts, short stop
- Rafael Devers, third base
- J.D. Martinez, right field
- Mitch Moreland, first base
- Christian Vázquez, catcher
- Sam Travis, left field
- Chris Owings, second base
- Rick Porcello, pitcher
- César Hernández, second base
- J.T. Realmuto, catcher
- Bryce Harper, right field
- Rhys Hoskins, first base
- Brad Miller, left field
- Jean Segura, short stop
- Scott Kingery, third base
- Adam Haseley, center field
- Jason Vargas, pitcher
Shibe Vintage Sports Starting Pitching Matchup
- Jason Vargas (6-7, 4.31 ERA, 4.66 FIP, 5.47 xFIP) vs. Rick Porcello (12-12, 5.83 ERA, 5.04 FIP, 5.42 xFIP)
- In eight career starts against Boston, Vargas is 3-3 with a 3.48 ERA.
- Porcello faced the Phillies in August at Fenway, going five innings and allowing three earned runs in a loss. The 30-year-old is 2-2 with a 4.50 ERA in five starts.
Pregame Phillies Nuggets
- Red Sox manager Alex Cora had some high praise for Nola. In three career starts against the BoSox, Nola has a 1.64 ERA and has dominated in all of them:
Alex Cora, postgame to reporters, on Aaron Nola: “With all due respect to all the pitchers we’ve faced, he’s been the best one. Love the way he competes. Love his stuff. He doesn’t panic. With the offense we have, he still dominates us. They have a good one. He’s a special one.”
— Scott Lauber (@ScottLauber) September 15, 2019
- Four-time All-Star Mookie Betts was a late scratch in last night’s series opener. After playing on AstroTurf at Rodgers Centre in Toronto on Thursday, Betts felt some soreness in his foot. He will also sit in today’s series finale.
- In the month of September, the Phillies offense is collectively slashing .239/.303./477. By month-to-month comparison, it’s the lowest batting average and on-base percentage and highest slugging percentage all season. In the month of May, the team’s most successful month of the season, the offense recorded their lowest slugging percentage of the season (.410).
- Brad Miller and Logan Morrison both have impressive career numbers against Porcello. In 47 career at-bats, Miller has crushed five home runs and has an OPS of 1.023. Morrison is averaging .286 with five extra-base hits, including two home runs in 42 career at-bats against. Jean Segura is 4-for-11 with a home run against Porcello.
Ticket IQ Programming Information
- 1:05 at Citizens Bank Park
- NBC Sports Philadelphia
- Sportsradio 94 WIP; WTTM 1680 (Spanish)