Phillies Analysis

Schedule makers present Phillies with a gift for remainder of 10-game homestand

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Not to be snarky or rude or mean or anything, but the Rockies and White Sox are not good baseball teams.

Colorado is coming off a 103-loss season and didn’t do anything over the winter that suggests this year should be much better. The Rockies are 4-12 and have been outscored by an average of more than two runs per game. They’re without two of their better starting pitchers, Antonio Senzatela and German Marquez, both on the 60-day injured list after undergoing Tommy John surgery last year.

Chicago is even worse. The Sox are 2-13 (.133), the worst percentage in all of Rob Manfred’s realm. Their minus-51 run differential is the largest by a wide margin.

And, goodness gracious, would you looky here? The schedule makers have presented the Phillies with a gift. And it’s not even the Phanatics’ birthday until next Sunday. The longest homestand of the season concludes with three games against the Rockies followed by a weekend series against the Chisox beginning Monday.

That’s pretty sweet timing for a Phillies team that, with Sunday’s 9-2 loss to the Pirates, fell back to .500 for the season and is still looking to put together the kind of winning streak that they hope can set the tone for the rest of the season.

This is where the standard legal boilerplate is inserted. These are Major League teams with Major League players. Any team can beat another on a given day. No opponent at this level, no matter their record, can be overlooked.

“I think there’s always opportunity when you play at because we usually play well,” is the way manager Rob Thomson didn’t answer the question Sunday morning. “I know the records of these two teams, but you can’t take anyone for granted. These are all Major League Baseball teams so you have to go out and play the game and hope you come out on top.”

Well, yeah. Still, for a Phillies team with World Series aspirations that hasn’t been able to get much traction so far, it’s hard to imagine a more perfect opportunity to pad its record. Even in the midst of a stretch of 33 straight games against teams that didn’t make the playoffs in 2023, this six-pack stands out as the sort of situation that good clubs really have to take advantage of.

Thomson, a bit tentatively, agreed. “Especially at home,” he said. “They’re not in our division but I always say if you want to win a pennant, or win a division, you’ve got to win inside the division. And you have to win at home. Winning at home is big.”

Winning at home against the Rockies is particularly critical since they’re traditionally much more successful at hitter-friendly Coors Field than on the road. Last year, as bad as their record was, they were almost .500 (37-44) at home while going 22-59 (.272) everywhere else.

RHP Cal Quantrill (0-2, 7.20) will face RHP Aaron Nola (2-1, 4.50) in Monday’s series opener at 6:40 p.m. That will be followed by LHP Austin Gomber (0-0, 4.91) vs. LHP Ranger Suarez (2-0, 2.65) Tuesday at 6:40 and RHP Ryan Feltner (1-1, 3.38) vs. LHP Cristopher Sanchez (0-2, 3.52) at 6:05.

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