Tuesday, September 26, 2023

MLB Preview: Philadelphia Phillies (76-62) at San Diego Padres (66-74)

PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES NOTES:

GAME #138 RECAP: The Phillies were shut out at Petco Park, falling to the Padres, 8-0, in So Cal … Starter Michael Lorenzen (L, 3-2) went 6.0 innings and allowed 7 runs (6 ER) on 8 hits with 3 walks and 1 strikeout … The Phillies hit into a season-high 4 double plays which offset their 6 walks against Padres starter Pedro Avila … In total, Philadelphia had 7 walks on the night (2 by Kyle Schwarber).

FUHGEDDABOUDIT: Last night, the Phillies were shut out 8-0 – it marked their largest deficit in defeat since they were also shut out, 9-0, against the Dodgers on June 10 at CBP … In between both losses (6/11- 9/4), the Phillies went 45-28 with a +110 run differential (404-294) … Of Philadelphia’s 28 losses in that span, 22 were by 2 runs or fewer (79%) – 12 were by 1 run (43%) and 10 were by 2 runs (36%) … Only six of those 28 losses were by three runs or more (21%) – conversely, of their 45 wins, 23 were by three runs or more (51%).

DAD JOKES: Since 2004, when Citizens Bank Park and Petco Park both opened, the Phillies are 79-44 in 123 games against the Padres and their .642 winning percentage ranks 5th among all MLB teams against any single opponent in that time (min. 120 games played) … Since 2004, the Phillies are 41-20 at Petco (.672 win %) and 38-24 against the Padres at CBP (.613 win %)

ON THE PLUS SIDE: The Phillies currently have seven different players who qualify for the batting title who sport an OPS+ of 105 or greater (league average is 100): Bryce Harper (137 OPS+), Kyle Schwarber (121), J.T. Realmuto (111), Alec Bohm (111), Bryson Stott (111), Nick Castellanos (107) and Trea Turner (106) – Brandon Marsh (134 OPS+) would make it eight, but does not yet qualify for the batting title after missing two weeks with a left knee contusion last month … Philadelphia’s seven different players with an OPS+ of 105 or better ranks 2nd in MLB behind only Atlanta who has eight (Acuna, Albies, Arcia, Harris, Olson, Ozuna, Riley, Rosario) … Only once in franchise history have the Phillies had seven players with an OPS+ of 105 or better, and that was in 1892 (Jack Clements, Roger Connor, Lave Cross, Ed Delahanty, Bill Hallman, Billy Hamilton, Sam Thompson).

HATS OFF TO YOU THOMS: Today marks Rob Thomson’s 250th game as manager of the Phillies … Since Thomson took over on June 2, 2022, the Phils are 33 games over .500 at 141-108 with a .566 winning percentage that ranks 6th in MLB behind only ATL (.672), LAD (.649), HOU (.606), BAL (.599) and SEA (.582) … Regardless of today’s outcome, Thomson will have the most wins and best winning percentage through the first 250 decisions of a Phillies manager’s career since Dallas Green from 1979-81 (.580 win %, 145- 105) … Thomson, the 56th manager in Phillies history, will rank 6th among those 56 in wins through 250 decisions behind only Bill Shettsline (151 wins from 1898-1899), Pat Moran (147 wins from 1915-1916), Steve O’Neill (146 wins from 1952-1954), Dallas Green and Arthur Irwin (145 wins from 1894-1895).

ARMS RACE: The Phillies starting staff ranks 1st in the National League and 4th in MLB with 767.1 innings pitched this season – they have 14.9 fWAR as a staff which is 1st among all MLB rotations (next: TB, 14.0) and is 3.0 full wins in front of the next closest NL club (SD, 11.9) … Consequently, Philadelphia’s bullpen has thrown the fewest innings of any relief corps this year at 458.0, yet Philadelphia’s relief pitchers have combined for 5.7 fWAR which leads the NL and ranks 2nd in MLB (BAL, 7.4) … Combined, Phillies pitching has put up 20.6 fWAR this season which leads MLB (next: SEA, 19.0) and is 4.0 wins in front of ATL who ranks 2nd in the NL at 16.6.

TURNED HIM LOOSE: Yesterday, shortstop Trea Turner was placed on the paternity list … He was also named NL Player of the Week for the games played Aug. 28-Sept. 3 … Over that stretch, Turner slashed .423/.464/1.231 with a 1.695 OPS over 28 plate appearances … Turner scored 9 runs, 8 of his 11 hits went for extra bases (2B, 3B, 6 HR), he had 14 RBI, a HBP, 1 BB and 2 SB … Saturday, Turner tied a franchise record with a home run in five straight games (8/28-9/2) … It was the 8th time in franchise history a player has homered in five straight games (7 total players) … On Friday, Turner became only the fourth MLB player since 1920 (when RBI first became official) to hit a home run and have 3+ RBI in four straight games … Prior to Turner, Chris Davis did so in four consecutive games (4/2-5/13), Hall-of-Famer Bill Dickey did so in five consecutive games (6/20-25/37), and Hall-of-Famer Loug Gehrig did so two times; in four consecutive games (6/21-25/32) and in five consecutive games (8/29-9/1/31) … Turner is the first Phillies player since at least 1900 (Modern Era) to do so … Over his last 28 games (since 8/4), Turner is slashing .362/.395/.767 with a 1.162 OPS, 26 R, 9 2B, 3B, 12 HR, 33 RBI, 6 walks and 4 stolen bases … Turner has hit safely in 26 of those 28 games played since Aug. 4 and he has reached base safely in 27 of those 28 … He has an active 15-game hitting streak (.358 AVG, since 8/19) and an active 9-game RBI streak (since 8/26) – the last Phillies player with a 9-game RBI streak was Chase Utley (9G streak, May 25-June 3, 2008)

LEADING MAN: Since the All Star Break, Kyle Schwarber has posted a .955 OPS in 48 games with 18 home runs and 53 walks with a 26.2% walk rate (225 PA) … Schwarber is up to 111 walks on the year, and is averaging 1.10 walks per game in the second half – the franchise record for walks in a season in 129, set by Lenny Dykstra in 1993 … Schwarber has nine leadoff home runs this season which is tied with Jimmy Rollins (9 in 2007) for the franchise record … Schwarber was put back in the leadoff spot this season on June 2, and since then, he has 27 home runs and 71 walks with an .884 OPS – since June 2, the only two players in MLB with 25+ home runs and 65+ walks are Schwarber and Shohei Ohtani (29 HR, 67 BB).

REMEMBER THE FIGHTINS: Since 6/3, the Phils are 51-30 with a +111 run differential (436-325) … Philadelphia’s .630 win % since 6/3 ranks T-2nd in MLB (with BAL), behind only ATL (57-23, .713 win %).

TODAY’S STARTER – ZACK WHEELER • RHP #45
2023: 10-6, 3.62 ERA Career: 84-63, 3.44 ERA

LAST START: 9/1 at MIL: ND, 6.0 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, HR, 0 BB, 10 SO … Wheeler vs Peralta … The Phillies fell to the Milwaukee Brewers, 7-5, as they opened up a 6-game road trip … Down 3-1 in the 8th, Trea Turner blasted a 3-run homer off Brewers’ closer Devin Williams to put the Phils ahead as they scored 4 runs in the inning … Milwaukee went ahead in the bottom of the frame and held on for the win following a bases clearing fielding error by Alec Bohm

TODAY’S START:

  • Wheelin’ and Dealin’: Wheeler has recorded back-to-back starts with 10 strikeouts and no walks … Wheeler is the 3rd Phillies pitcher in the Modern Era (since 1900) with back-to-back starts with 10+ strikeouts and no walks (others: Cole Hamels, 8/1-7/10; Curt Schilling, 9/15-21/96) … Wheeler is the second ML pitcher to do so this season (other: Zac Gallen, 4/21-26) Right On Schedule: This year, when pitching on 4 days rest, Wheeler is 4-1 in 8 starts with a 2.08 ERA (12 ER, 52.0 IP) … When pitching on longer rest than 4 days, he has a 4.33 ERA (54 ER, 112.0 IP) in 19 starts The Gift That Keeps on Giving: Wheeler leads all ML pitchers in fWAR and is the only pitcher with more than 5.0 fWAR (5.4) this year … Since he signed with the Phillies as a free agent (since 2020), Wheeler ranks 1st among all pitchers in MLB in fWAR at 18.8 and he leads Corbin Burnes who ranks 2nd at 17.2, Kevin Gausman ranks 3rd (16.9), Aaron Nola 4th (15.8) and Max Scherzer 5th (14.0). inning DNA: On 8/26, Wheeler earned his 10th win of the season … He has earned 10+ wins in 6 seasons and has done so in every season with at least 20 starts … Wheeler has earned double-digit wins in 3 straight seasons for the first time in his career … Wheeler became the 3rd Phillies pitcher this year with 10+ wins and only 8 teams in baseball have 3 pitchers with 10+ wins Fortune .500: Wheeler has made 12 starts against teams that were .500 or better at the time of his start this season … In those starts, he’s posted a 2.96 ERA (24 ER, 73.0 IP) and the Phillies are 6-6 in those games … In his last 8 of those starts (since 5/10), Wheeler is 2-1 with a 2.42 ERA (14 ER, 52.0 IP) Swing and Miss: In his last outing, Wheeler struck out 10+ batters for the 5th time this season, which ranks T-3rd in the NL … He has accomplished this feat 1 other time in his career, posting 7 such games in 2021 … Wheeler also generated 19 swings and misses in his last outing, which is the 6th most in his career Quality Control: Wheeler ranks T-3rd in the National League with 18 quality starts and he has earned one in 9 of his last 10 outings… Wheeler’s 7 starts with at least 7.0 IP and 3 or fewer ER is T-5th most in the NL … His quality start streak from 7/7-8/15 marked the 3rd time in his career he has had at least a 7-game streak with a quality start and first time since 5/6-6/16/21 … He is one of 12 ML pitchers to do so this year In the Zone: On the year, Wheeler’s 4.5% walk rate ranks 8th among pitchers with at least 100.0 IP … It is currently the lowest walk rate of his career (previous best: 5.4%, 2021) … Wheeler has 19 starts this year in which he’s thrown at least 5.0 IP while walking 1 or no batters, which ranks T-2nd in MLB (most: Logan Webb, 20) … It is a new career-high for most such starts in a single season (previous best: 18, 2021) … In 7 starts from 7/1-8/8 (43.2 IP), Wheeler walked only 3 batters … It is the first time in his career that he walked 3 or fewer batters in a 7-game span Dog Days: Since the start of July, Wheeler has the following NL ranks: 1st in OPP OBP (.240), WHIP (0.92) and SO/BB (8.63), 2nd in BB/9.0 IP (1.02), 5th in FIP (3.35), 7th in SO/9.0 IP (10.06) and OPP AVG (.214) and 8th in ERA (3.31) Zack With a K: Wheeler’s SO/BB rate of 6.17 is the 5th best in MLB … It is currently the best SO/BB rate of any season in his career (2nd best: 2021, 5.37) … Wheeler currently ranks 6th in the NL in strikeouts with 185 Statcast Rankings: 98th percentile in extension, 94th percentile in walk rate, 90th percentile in average exit velocity, 89th percentile in xERA, 85th percentile in barrel rate, 82nd percentile in fastball velocity, 80th percentile in chase rate and 78th percentile in SO rate Pitch Usage: 4-seam fastball (41.9%), Sinker (18%), Slider (15.5%), Sweeper (12.5%), Curveball (11.8%), Changeup (0.3%), Cutter (0.1%) vs NL West: 16-11, 3.52 ERA (93 ER, 238.0 IP) in 39 starts

ROAD:

  • 2023: 6-4, 3.47 ERA (35 ER, 90.2 IP) in 15 starts
  • Career: 44-30, 3.48 ERA (259 ER, 669.2 IP) in 112 starts

2023 SEASON:

  • Took a no-hitter into the 8th inning on 6/8 vs DET which was the longest no-hit bid of his career (previous: 6.1 innings on 7/30/13 vs MIA)
  • Reached 10 years of ML service on Sunday (6/11) vs LAD
  • Recorded his 18th career double-digit strikeout game and 10th as a Phillie on 5/27 at ATL
  • Made his 200th career start on 4/23 vs COL
  • Racked up a career-high 24 swings and misses on 8/26 vs STL

SAN DIEGO PADRES NOTES:

Avila, Friars shut out Phils 8-0 on Tuesday

  • Starter Pedro Avila worked a career-high 6.2 innings (besting his previous high of 5.1 IP back in 2019) without allowing a single run…he became the 1st Padre rookie to go 6.2+scorless since MacKenzie Gore went 7.0 scoreless on May 29, 2022 vs. PIT.
  • On his bobblehead night, Fernando Tatis Jr. hit a solo home run in the 4th inning and walked twice…Xander Bogaerts went 4-for-4 with a double, RBI, and 3 runs scored.
  • San Diego shut out the Phillies for their 14th shutout win on the year and with their 2nd-most runs scored in a shutout behind just their 10-0 win over the Giants on May 29…it was also the Padres’ 1st time shutting out a team without recording a single 1-2-3 inning since July 19, 2003 vs. AZ (won 2-0), per Elias.

Padres claim 1st win against Phils at Petco Park since Game 2 of the ’22 NLCS, force today’s rubber match

  • Last night’s win was the Padres’ 1st over the Phillies at Petco Park since October 19, 2022 in Game 2 of the NL Championship Series (SD’s sole win in the series)…a win today would signify the Padres’ 1st series win at home over the Phillies since they took 2 of 3 from August 10-12, 2018, and it would be the
    Friars’ 3rd straight series win at home.

Padres to break their all-time “home” attendance record

  • Entering today’s game, the Padres have MLB’s 2nd highest home attendance total at 2,991,874, trailing just the Dodgers’ 3,393,058…the Padres’ home attendance record was set in Petco Park’s inaugural season in 2004 at 3,016,752, and they will need just 24,879 fans today to break the home attendance mark…however, the Padres played 2 of their home games in Mexico City earlier this year, with the total attendance at 39,244, so with their “Petco Park” attendance at 2,952,630 this year, they’ll need 64,122 more fans to tie the “Petco” record.

Padres have won 4 of their last 5

  • The Padres have won 4 of their last 5 games, and if they win today it’ll be their 6th stretch of 6 G with at least 5 wins…however, SD is the only team in MLB to not have a winning streak over 3 games (the ’16 and ’18 seasons were the only ones where went the whole year without a 4-game win streak). Today is Game 32 in the Padres’ stretch of playing 32 games in 34 days
  • Today’s game is the Padres 32nd in a stretch of playing 32 games in 34 days (from August 4-Sept. 6).

STARTING PITCHER – #52 MICHAEL WACHA
Wacha closes in on 7th campaign with 20+ starts
32-year-old Michael Wacha takes the mound for his 20th start of the season, which will be his 3rd in a row making 20+ and the 7th of his career…his next win will be his 12th winning decision, tying 2017 w/ STL for his 2nd-most in a single season, trailing just his 17 from 2015 w/ STL…he’s quality in 3 of his 7 career starts vs. PHI, going 3-2 with a 3.99 ERA…it will be his first start vs. PHi since 2018.

Wacha’s earns 11th win of season vs. SF on Friday
Wacha made his 9th career start vs. SF last Friday and now owns a 3-0 record and the 2nd-lowest all-time ERA (1.80) vs. SF among all pitchers who have made at least 9 starts vs. the club, trailing only Mike Cuellar’s 1.65 ERA from 1964-68.

The best winning percentage in MLB since ’22
Has earned the win in 4 of his last 5 starts and enters tonight’s tilt with a 11-2 record and the Padres are 13-6 in his 19 starts…among all qualifying pitchers since the beginning of 2022, Wacha’s .846 winning percentage (22-4) is the best in the Majors, ahead of Tony Gonsolin (24-6, .800), Kyle Wright (21-6, .778) and Clayton Kershaw (24-7, .774). Owner of the 4th-most consecutive starts with 2 ER-orfewer in franchise history 2 starts ago on Sun, July 27 @ MIL, Wacha has his streak of consecutive starts allowing 2 ER-or-fewer since May 2 snapped at 12, which was the 4th longest streak in SD history, behind only Mat Latos (15 in 2010), Blake Snell (13 in ’23) and Joe Musgrove (13 in ’21)…over that stretch, he was 8-1 with a 1.15 ERA (9 ER, 70.2 IP), a 0.89 WHIP and .169 opp. AVG.

Happy 10.000
On Mon, July 17, Wacha reached 10.000 years of ML service time…he’s currently 1 of 7 Padres with 10.000+ years of service time, with Xander Bogaerts recently joining the club Aug 6.

Wacha’s 7 scoreless starts across 5.0+ T-most in Majors
Despite having made just 6 starts since June 19, Wacha’s 7 scoreless starts of at least 5.0 IP are tied for 3rd-most in the Majors with 3 others, trailing only rotation-mate Blake Snell (9) and TOR’s Chris Bassitt (8).

First and second time through
Yu Darvish (.198) and Wacha (.199) rank T-4th and 6th, respectively, among all qualifying NL starters in opponent AVG the 1st time thru a batting order…among qualifying NL starters the first time through, Wacha and Darvish trail only Tony Gonsolin (.149), Eury Perez (.188), Spencer Strider (.196), Corbin Burnes (.198), and Darvish (.198)…his .201 AVG the 2nd time thru ranks 3rd among all qualifying NL SP’s, and opponents are hitting .264 the 3rd time thru.

While he was away
After posting his 9th quality start and 3rd in a row June 19 @ SF, Wacha had his turn skipped in the rotation twice due to shoulder fatigue before improving to 8-2 in his 15th start on July 1 @ CIN…he was then placed on the 15-day IL with right shoulder inflammation on July 4.

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