Phillies' rotation has come into its own as one of MLB's best the last month


As the Phillies try to narrow their sizable NL East deficit on Memorial Day Weekend in New York, they’re giving an extra day to each member of a starting rotation that has been worked hard.

Left-hander Bailey Falter gets the spot start Friday night, his second of the season. Falter pitched well the first time, allowing a run over 4 2/3 innings in Seattle.

The Phillies’ rotation has come into its own over the past month, posting a 3.39 ERA in the last 32 games with the majors’ third-best rates of strikeouts, walks and soft contact. 

Overall this season, Phillies starters rank fifth in innings per start and second in strikeout-to-walk ratio.

Beyond the fact that the Phillies are in the midst of playing 25 games in 25 days, there are reasons why all five guys could use an extra 24 hours.

Aaron Nola, who struck out 10 in a near-complete game Thursday night, leads the majors in innings pitched.

Zach Eflin, who struck out a career-high 12 Dodgers on Sunday, is coming off his highest pitch total (106) since 2019. His pitch count has reached triple digits only twice in his last 20 starts. 

Zack Wheeler, who leads the majors in innings since 2020, has pitched into the seventh inning in three of his last four starts. 

Kyle Gibson has been over 100 pitches in back-to-back starts after averaging 70 the two previous.

Ranger Suarez has turned in consecutive short outings but been under duress, throwing the second-most pitches per inning of any major-league starter this season. 

The Phillies are three games under .500 and trail the Mets by 7 1/2 but it has not been because of the rotation. Phillies starting pitchers have allowed three earned runs or fewer in 35 of the their 45 games. They’ve allowed two earned runs or fewer 26 times and 0-1 earned runs 15 times.

Eflin will start Saturday and Wheeler will go on Sunday night. 

Max Scherzer, Jacob deGrom and Tylor Megill remain out for the Mets, who have Carlos Carrasco going in Game 1 and Taijuan Walker in Game 2. 

Chris Bassitt, who kept the Phillies off balance two Sundays ago in many hitters’ first matchup against him, would be on regular rest Sunday but may be held until the next series. Mets manager Buck Showalter is also considering lefty David Peterson for the series finale with Bassitt under the weather.

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