Monday, May 29, 2023

MLB Preview: Philadelphia Phillies (23-26) at Atlanta Braves (30-19)


GAME #49 RECAP: The Phillies defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks, 6-5, in a thriller at Citizens Bank Park … Starter Ranger Suarez (ND) went 5.0 innings and allowed 5 runs on 5 hits with 1 walk and 5 strikeouts … Down 2 runs with 2 outs in the 9th, Bryson Stott singled before Trea Turner tied it with a 2-run home run … Alec Bohm walked it off in the 10th with a game-winning single to right … Five Phillies relievers made scoreless appearances in relief of Suarez.

REMEMBER THE FIGHTINS: Yesterday, the Phillies were down 5-0 through the first 5.0 innings before coming back to win via walk off in the 10th … It marked the first time the Phils were down by five runs at any point in a game and came back to win since June 5, 2022 vs LAA (Harper grand slam, Stott walk-off HR) … It also marked the first time the Phils were down 5-0 through 5.0 innings and came back to win since Sept. 2, 2021 at WSH (down 6-0 through 5.0 inn., won 7-6).

PRESSURE COOKERS: In yesterday’s eventual Phillies win, the Diamondbacks had a 98% win probability in the 6th inning following Pavin Smith’s walk to load the bases … It later reached 99% in the bottom of the 9th following J.T. Realmuto’s ground ball out that brought Bryson Stott to the plate with two outs and nobody on … Stott singled to center before Trea Turner smashed the first pitch he saw into the seats in left to tie the game at 5-5 … It marked Philadelphia’s first win when they were down to their final out with no one on base and trailed by at least two runs in the 9th inning or later since Aug. 1, 2011 at COL … In that game, the Phillies were down 3-1 with two outs and nobody on in the 9th at Coors Field before Carlos Ruiz doubled and John Mayberry Jr. hit a pinch-hit two run homer to send it to extras … Shane Victorino would then homer in the 10th to send the Phillies to a 4-3 win.

ON THE DOORSTEP OF HISTORY: Right-hander Craig Kimbrel picked up his 399th career save in Sunday’s 2-1 Phils win … Kimbrel is one save away from becoming only the eighth player in the history of Major League Baseball to reach 400 saves … His next appearance will be the 730th of his career – of the seven previous pitchers to reach 400 saves, only three did so in under 800 career appearances: Mariano Rivera (697 G), Trevor Hoffman (706 G) and Kenley Jansen (778 G) … Billy Wagner reached #400 in his 813th career game, John Franco in his 837th, Lee Smith in his 847th and Francisco Rodriguez in his 878th.

TAKE A TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE: Craig Kimbrel’s first ever major league appearance came at Citizens Bank Park on 5/7/10 with ATL against the Phillies – the first batter he faced was Jayson Werth, who doubled … Kimbrel would then strike out Raul Ibanez (1st career strikeout) and Carlos Ruiz before getting Wilson Valdez to ground out to end the inning … Kimbrel’s 1st career save came on 9/19/10 at NYM – he struck out the side (Carlos Beltran, David Wright & Chris Carter) … Kimbrel’s 100th career save came on 5/9/13 at SF … His 200th career save came on 6/8/15 at ATL (with SD) … His 300th career save came on 5/5/18 at TEX (with BOS).

IN COMPANY WITH COOPERSTOWN: One save away from #400, Craig Kimbrel also ranks 11th since at least 1893 with 1,128 strikeouts as a reliever … He trails Hall-of-Famers Trevor Hoffman (1,133) for 10th place and Mariano Rivera (1,135) for 9th place … Additionally, in the 399 instances when he has converted a save, Kimbrel has a 0.64 ERA (28 ER, 396.2 IP) – here are the ERA’s (in saves) for the seven current members of the 400-save club when they reached #400: Rivera (0.67), Billy Wagner (0.75), Lee Smith (0.83), Hoffman (0.84), John Franco (0.88), Kenley Jansen (0.94) and Francisco Rodriguez (1.05).

OTHER RECENT MILESTONES BY PHILLIES: With Craig Kimbrel one save away from #400, we thought it would be fitting to look back at other recent milestones achieved by Phillies players: Roy Halladay’s 200th win: 4/14/2013 at MIA and his 2,000th strikeout came on 7/29/12 at ATL (David Ross) … Jim Thome’s 400th career home run: 6/14/2004 vs CIN (Jose Acevado) … Mike Schmidt’s 500th career home run: 4/18/1987 at PIT (Don Robinson) … Steve Carlton’s 300th career win: 9/23/1983 at STL and his 3,000th strikeout came on 4/29/1981 vs MTL (Tim Wallach).

HARP ON IT: Phils designated hitter Bryce Harper enters today’s game with 4,998 career at bats, two shy of reaching 5,000 … Harper has 614 extra-base hits and 891 walks in his career – in the modern era (since 1900), only 12 players have had as many extra-base hits and walks when reaching 5,000 career at bats as Harper … They are Babe Ruth (1928), Ted Williams (1951), Mike Schmidt (1982), Barry Bonds (1995), Mark McGwire (1998), Frank Thomas (2000), Jeff Bagwell (2000), Jim Thome (2003), Brian Giles (2006), Lance Berkman (2009), Adam Dunn (2011) and Mike Trout (2022).

GO NOLES: Phils starter Aaron Nola has gone at least 6.0 innings in each of his last seven starts (since 4/16) and eight of his last nine (since 4/5) … Nola has eight starts this season of at least 6.0 innings which ranks T-5th among all pitchers in MLB … Since 2018, Nola has gone 6.0 innings in 101 of his 153 total starts (66.0%) … His 101 games of at least 6.0 innings pitched since 2018 ranks 3rd among all pitchers in MLB – he trails only Gerrit Cole (115 such starts) and teammate Zack Wheeler (104 such starts) … Since 2018, the Phillies are 63-38 in those 101 games when Nola goes at least 6.0 innings (.624 win %) and when given two runs or more of support in those games when he goes at least 6.0, the Phillies are 58-16 (.784 win %).

2023: 4-3, 4.31 ERA Career: 82-65, 3.64 ERA

LAST START: 5/20 vs CHI: W, 7.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 10 SO, HR (98 p, 68 s) … Nola vs Taillon … The Phillies beat the Cubs, 12-3 and snapped a 5-game losing streak and a 7-game streak against Chicago … Recorded a season-high 10 SO (5 called) for his 28th career double-digit SO game … Faced the minimum in 5 of his 7 innings … A Kyle Schwarber grand slam highlighted a 6-run 1st inning for the Phils, who totaled 13 hits on the day.

Philly Value: Since 2018, Nola is the only pitcher in baseball to accrue more than 20.0 fWAR (22.8) and pitch for only one team … In that span, he ranks 5th overall in fWAR behind only Jacob deGrom (27.1), Max Scherzer (25.8), Gerrit Cole (24.7) and Zack Wheeler (23.9) … His 31.1 fWAR as a Phillie is 8th-most in franchise history among pitchers and he trails Hall-of-Famer Jim Bunning (31.2) for 7th place.

Gone Streaking: Nola enters tonight’s start at ATL having worked 6.0 or more innings in each of his last 7 starts … As of today, only 3 pitchers (SEA’s Kirby, CWS’s Giolito and SF’s Webb) have longer active streaks, all with 8 … TEX’s Eovaldi is also at 7 … In Nola’s last 7 starts (5-2 team record), he has gone 4-1, 3.42 ERA (18 ER, 47.1 IP) with 10 BB and 38 SO

2023 NL Ranks: Quality starts (T-5th; 6), IP (T-5th; 62.2), BB/9.0 IP (5th; 1.87), WHIP (7th, 1.07) and SO/BB (10th; 4.08)

Caught Lookin’: Entering play today, Nola ranks T-2nd among all ML pitchers this year in called strikeouts with 23 (NYY’s G. Cole also has 23, MIN’s M. Keller has 34) … Since the start of the 2018 season, Nola’s 321 backwards K’s are the most for any pitcher in baseball … Cole has 318 and the next closest pitcher on that list is Sonny Gray who has 247 … Since 2018, 30.3% of Nola’s strikeouts have been called (321 of 1,060)

Top of the Class: Since 2018, Nola leads all ML pitchers in starts (153) and ranks 2nd in IP (934.1) and is 3rd in SO (1,060)

Walk Talk: Nola has not walked a batter in 3 of his 10 starts this season … His 1.87 BB/9.0 IP ranks 5th among NL pitchers … Since the start of last season, Nola’s 4.0% walk rate (42 BB, 1,056 BF) is 2nd lowest among all pitchers (SEA’s Kirby is 1st at 3.5%)

vs NL East: 36-34, 3.49 ERA (244 ER, 628.2 IP) in 104 starts

2023: 2-2, 4.62 ERA (19 ER, 37.0 IP) in 6 starts

Career: 36-40, 4.08 ERA (289 ER, 637.2 IP) in 108 starts

2023 SEASON:

Recorded the 28th double-digit SO game of his career on 5/20 vs CHI … Needs 1 more 10+ SO game to tie Cole Hamels (29) for the 3rd most in club history

Recorded his 1,400th career strikeout on 4/21 vs COL, the 5thyoungest to reach the mark among the 20 active pitchers to do so at the time

Made his 6th straight Opening Day, extending his MLB-best active streak of Opening Day starts

Was the first pitcher in baseball to make 6 straight Opening Day starts since Julio Teheran in made his 6th consecutive for ATL in 2019, and joins Robin Roberts (12) and Steve Carlton (10) as the only Phillies to do


TONIGHT’S GAME: The Braves and Phillies tonight open a four-game series in what is the first of 13 scheduled meetings between the clubs this season… Atlanta and Philadelphia next meet from June 20-22 in a three-game set at Citizens Bank Park.

  • Atlanta went 11-8 against Philadelphia last season to win the season set, and has won the season series with the Phillies in each of the last two years…The Braves went 10-9 against the Phillies in 2021, and have now won the season set with Philadelphia in consecutive years for the first time since a five-year \run, 2012-2016.
  • The Braves and Phillies met in the 2022 postseason, with Philadelphia winning the NLDS, three-games-to-one, to eliminate the defending World
    Series champions…Philadelphia outscored Atlanta, 24-13, in the series.
  • Atlanta and Philadelphia have played 49 games here at Truist Park since the facility opened in 2017, and the Braves are 32-17 (.653) here at home versus the Phillies…Atlanta went 6-3 against Philadelphia here last season, and has won 11 of the last 14 with the Phillies here dating to 2021.
  • LH Dylan Dodd was recalled today from Triple-A Gwinnett and is set to make his fourth career start…He has never faced the Phillies…The 6-foot2, 220-pound left-hander is 2-1 with a 6.46 ERA (11 ER/15.1 IP) in his first three career turns, and last pitched for Atlanta on May 4 at Miami…He allowed eight hits and three runs over 6.0 innings in that start to earn the win.
  • RH Aaron Nola has made more starts against Atlanta than any other club, and tonight faces the Braves for the 31st time in his career…The 6-foot2, 200-pound native of Baton Rouge, LA, is 15-10 with a 3.39 ERA (71 ER/188.2 IP) in his career against Atlanta, however since the start of the 2019 season he is 8-7 with a 4.28 ERA in 18 starts versus the Braves…In 10 turns this season, he has gone 4-3 with a 4.31 ERA (30 ER/62.2 IP).

WIN: Ozzie Albies lifted a sacrifice fly with one out in the ninth inning last night to plate Austin Riley and give the Braves the walk-off win, 4-3, over the Dodgers…The win was Atlanta’s fourth walk-off victory of the season.

  • Atlanta’s four walk-off wins are tied for the most in baseball, equal to Boston, New York (A.L.), Oakland and Toronto…Four of the Braves’ 13 wins (31%) here at Truist Park this season have come via walkoff.
  • Albies’ sacrifice fly marked the fourth walk-off RBI of his career…Each of the previous three had been home runs, with his last coming on August 11, 2021 vs. Cincinnati.
  • The win moved Atlanta to 27-7 (.794) this season when scoring at least four runs…When scoring three or fewer, the Braves have played to just a 3-12 (.200) record.

FIFTY GAMES: Atlanta tonight plays its 50th game of the season, and the Braves’ 30-19 (.612) record stands as the best mark in the National League…Just three teams – Tampa Bay (36-15, .706), Baltimore (32-17, .653) and Texas (31-18, .633) – have been better than Atlanta to open the season.

  • The Braves have won series against both Baltimore and Texas this season, and have yet to play Tampa Bay.
  • This season marks the 15th time in the modern era (since 1900) that the franchise has won at least 30 of its first 50 games, and the 13th time since moving to Atlanta in 1966…The club last did so in 2013, going 30-20 over its first 50 games.
  • With a win tonight, this club would become just the ninth in franchise history to win at least 31 of its first 50 games…No Braves team has done so since 2003.

HARD HITS AND HOMERS: Matt Olson drove his team-leading 14th home run of the season last night, a solo shot in the fourth inning…The homer had an exit velocity of 115.9, making it the second-hardest homer of his career.

  • He connected on a 118.6-mph homer on April 11 earlier this season, the hardest-hit ball to date in the majors this season.
  • Three players in baseball have multiple home runs with exit velocities of at least 115 mph, and two play for Atlanta…Ronald Acuña Jr. also has two such home runs this season, as does the Yankees’ Giancarlo Stanton.
  • Acuña Jr. (95.1) and Olson (95.1) rank first and second, respectively, in average exit velocity in the National League, and third and fourth in the majors.
  • As a team, Atlanta’s 91.0 mph average exit velocity is highest in baseball…Tampa Bay ranks second with a mark of 89.9.

Tonight’s Starting Pitcher – #46 Dylan Dodd LHP
2023 Record: 2-1, 6.46 ERA • 2023 Record (MiLB): 1-3, 6.67 ERA
vs. RHB: .346 (19-55), 2 HR • vs. LHB: .455 (5-11) 1 HR
Home: 0-1, 14.54 ERA (7 ER/ 4.1 IP) • Away: 2-0, 3.27 ERA (4 ER/11.0 IP)

Today’s Game

  • Set to make his fourth major league start.
  • Earned the win in Miami after pitching 6.0 innings, allowing eight hits, three runs, three walks and a home run in Atlanta’s 6-3 victory during his last start on May 4.
  • Became the 10th pitcher in Atlanta franchise history to earn two wins in their first three career starts and first since Ian Anderson 2020.
  • Was optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett on April 10, recalled to Atlanta on May 4 and later optioned again to the Stripers following his start.
  • Went 1-3 with a 6.67 ERA in six starts with the Stripers.
  • Ranked by as Atlanta’s No. 10 overall prospect, he has compiled a 13-14 record and a 4.28 ERA (87 ER/183.0 IP) over 36 career starts in the minors.
  • Originally selected by Atlanta in the third round of the 2021 First-Year Player Draft, Dodd attended Southeast Missouri State University which is located just 115 miles from Busch Stadium.
  • Played his first full professional season last year, and split the year between High-A Rome, Double-A Mississippi and Triple-A Gwinnett.
  • Pitched to a 12-9 record and a 3.36 ERA over 26 starts, fanning 153 in 142.0 innings.

2023 Recap

  • In his major league debut held the Cardinals to one run and six hits over 5.0 innings pitched while earning his first career win.
  • Dodd was the 10th Braves pitcher since 1900 to debut with a start against the Cardinals, but the first to do so in nearly 30 years…Brad Woodall was the last to start against St. Louis in his debut, doing so on July 22, 1994 in the second game of a doubleheader.
  • Joined Tom Tuckey as the only other Braves pitcher in franchise history to beat the Cardinals in their debuts.
  • Tuckey pitched a seven-hit shutout for the Boston Doves on August 11, 1908. against St. Louis.
  • Made his major league debut on April 4, while LH Jared Shuster made the first appearance of his own major league career the following day.
  • The Braves franchise dates to 1876, and the club has never had two starting pitchers debut within the first five games of a season.
UFC Replica Champion Belt

Related Articles

Latest Articles

2023 Major League Baseball Schedule Book 1