Teams in thick of wild-card race meet as Giants visit Phillies

Teams in thick of wild-card race meet as Giants visit Phillies

Two struggling teams will begin an important three-game series when the San Francisco Giants visit the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday night.

The teams are jostling for position in the congested National League wild-card race, with the Phillies in the top spot, two games up on the Giants, who sit in second.

The Phillies are coming off a 2-5 stretch as they begin a nine-game homestand. They’re clearly in a rut after Sunday night’s 4-3 loss to the Washington Nationals in the MLB Little League Classic in Williamsport, Pa.

Perhaps the Phillies can still find a spark from the weekend, which included attending a Little League World Series game before their own game.

“Just the energy that they get from the kids and I think it takes them back to their past when they were that age, how excited they were to play the game,” Philadelphia manager Rob Thomson said. “It was really an unbelievable experience to see the energy, the amount of people that were there.”

San Francisco is 4-10 in its last 14 games, though the Giants avoided a three-game series sweep in Atlanta by scoring a run in the ninth inning and winning 4-3 on Sunday.

“We had to show some resilience and score again to win the game,” San Francisco manager Gabe Kapler said.

The Giants, who have won only two of their last 14 road games, placed shortstop Brandon Crawford on the 10-day injured list on Sunday. In his place, Johan Camargo played his sixth big-league game of the season.

The good news for the Giants is that outfielder Luis Matos was back in the lineup after being recalled from Triple-A Sacramento, and he homered on Sunday.

The Phillies have been hot and cold on offense. They put up 9.3 runs per game across three games prior to Sunday’s, but they only avoided being shut out for the fourth time since the All-Star break by scoring three runs in the ninth in their loss to Washington.

However, Philadelphia might be getting healthier. Outfielder Brandon Marsh returned from a left knee injury and went 1-for-4 with a run and an RBI on Sunday.

Right-hander Aaron Nola (10-8, 4.58 ERA) is set to open the homestand on the mound for the Phillies. He hasn’t pitched beyond 5 1/3 innings in any of his last four starts and is 1-2 with a 6.75 ERA during that stretch.

In his last outing, Nola issued a season-high four walks in five innings on Wednesday at Toronto, though he was the winning pitcher despite giving up four runs.

Nola has made six career starts against the Giants, going 2-2 with a 7.85 ERA in 28 2/3 innings. Most recently against them, he was the winning pitcher on June 1, 2022, despite giving up five runs in six innings.

Scott Alexander (6-2, 4.06) will start for the Giants as an opener in what could end up being a bullpen game. The left-hander has made six starts among his 44 appearances, although his longest stint in that role has been 1 2/3 innings.

In eight career relief stints against the Phillies, Alexander is 2-0 with a 3.24 ERA covering 8 1/3 innings.

The Giants swept a three-game series with the Phillies in mid-May in San Francisco.

—Field Level Media

Original source here

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About the Author

Anthony Barnett
Anthony is the author of the Science & Technology section of ANH.