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2020 Series Preview: Philadelphia Phillies (1-2) at New York Yankees (7-1)


The Phillies are finally ready to start their season back up again after it was put on hold when the team was exposed to COVID-19 after playing a season-opening weekend series against the Miami Marlins. The Phillies missed seven full games that they will need to make up throughout the season, the first of which is tonight.

Aaron Judge has hit at least one home run in five consecutive games. (Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire)

In the original schedule, the Phillies were meant to play the Marlins in Miami but, since the Marlins are in COVID-19 limbo, the league opted to have the Phillies make-up the postponed New York Yankees series. Tonight and Tuesday the Phillies will be in New York before returning home on Wednesday to play a two-game home series against the Yankees. Both teams will hopefully be able to finish the series and play on Tuesday, but that is unlikely as Hurricane Isaias works its way up the east coast.

Joe Girardi’s former club is not the ideal team for the Phillies to return against. The week off of baseball basically stunted the little momentum the Phillies had coming off their series against the Marlins.

Right-hander Jake Arrieta spoke about some of his frustration with the beginning of this season.

“We’re all in a really tough situation, having to deal with so many different factors that have kind of derailed the beginning of our season,” Arrieta said. “But we knew these were going to be tough times and we’re doing the best we can to stay ready.”

The Phillies did have some hot bats over the series with pinch hitter Phil Gosselin hitting two home runs in the second game, shortstop Didi Gregorius, who is playing his first meaningful game in New York since leaving in free agency, nailing two home runs over the course of the series and right fielder Bryce Harper slamming a three-run homer in the first inning of the third game. The end results might have been different for the Phillies had the pitching been up to par. A great pitching performance by Arrieta and Aaron Nola could be the key to a winning series against the Yankees.

However, beating the Yankees is no simple feat. Heading into the season the Yankees were considered to be a contender for the World Series title. They are living up to those expectations. The Yankees are coming into this game with a six-game winning streak and are currently undefeated at home. Their only loss so far this year was against the Washington Nationals in the second game of the season. They have not only swept the Baltimore Orioles, but they have also swept the Boston Red Sox.

Given the circumstances, tonight is destined to be a David and Goliath matchup. The Phillies have to perform almost perfectly to get the win tonight and stop the Yankees.

Shibe Vintage Sports Probable Pitchers

  • Game 1: RHP Gerrit Cole (2-0, 3.09 ERA and 4.25 FIP) vs. RHP Jake Arrieta
  • Game 2:  LHP J.A. Happ (0-0, 9.00 ERA and 10.05 FIP) vs. RHP Aaron Nola (0-1, 6.75 ERA, 3.42 FIP)

With the Phillies having to sit out for a week after being exposed to the coronavirus, pitching coach Bryan Price is concerned that pitching performances might be affected.

“These starts and stops are dangerous. It’s not great for players,” Price told Meghan Montemurro of The Athletic. “I can’t speak for the entire baseball world, but I can certainly speak for myself, and I’ve got concerns about the conditions in which the players are playing under.”

The pitcher chosen for Monday’s game is Jake Arrieta. Coming into 2020, most people thought that Arrieta would be the third starter. Vince Velasquez outperformed him in camp to earn that spot, but Arrieta could prove more deserving today. This will be Arrieta’s first game back since his season-ending surgery last year.  

Nola will be making his second start of the season on Tuesday. He will be looking to bounce back from his loss against the Marlins in the season-opener. Nola has not been pitching badly — he struck out seven and only walked one over five innings against the Marlins — but he is still allowing runs that the Phillies cannot afford to give up. If he can tighten up against the Yankees the Phillies could come out on top.  

Pregame Phillies Nuggets

  • The Yankees are undefeated in their last 24 home series, going 21-0-3 in those series, and are tied for the third-longest such streak in Yankees history
  • The Yankees have the highest winning percentage in MLB at .875.
  • The Yankees 7-1 record matches their best eight-game start in franchise history. They have only had such a start in the last nine seasons.
  • Outfielder Aaron Judge has homered in a career-high five straight games. If he hits another home run tonight he will tie Lou Gehrig for third-longest home run streak in Yankees history.

Ticket IQ Programming Information

  • Game 1: Monday at 7:05 on NBC Sports Philadelphia and Sportsradio 94 WIP
  • Game 2: Tuesday at 6:05 on NBC Sports Philadelphia and Sportsradio 94 WIP

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