Tuesday, September 26, 2023
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MLB Preview: San Francisco Giants (65-59) at Philadelphia Phillies (67-57)


TODAY’S GAME: The Giants’ road trip continues with the second leg starting today at the Wild Card-leading Phillies. SF dropped two of three in Atlanta to begin the road trip, but avoided a sweep with a 4-3 victory yesterday afternoon. Since August 5, the Giants have lost 10-of-14 games to fall from 12 games over .500 at 61-49 to their current 65-59 mark. The Giants have lost five straight series entering this one with the Phils, last winning one July 31-Aug.3 vs. Arizona (3-1). SF has won six straight vs. Philly, its longest win streak against the Phils since a nine-gamer from June 3, 1999-August 25, 2000…they have won 12 of 15 games vs. the Phils since 2021.

HOMESICK: Yesterday’s win was the Giants’ second in their last 14 road games dating to July 19. SF has been outscored 71-39 (-32) over its last 14 road games. In that stretch, SF hitters are batting .189 while averaging 2.8 runs per game, 11 home runs and a .562 OPS on the road. Giants pitchers have posted a 5.21 ERA (66er, 114.0ip) on the road with 15 home runs allowed since July 19. A series win in Philadelphia would be SF’s first on the road since sweeping a three-game set in Pittsburgh out of the break (July 14-16).

BREAKING THROUGH?: SF has recorded double-digit hits in back-to-back games for the first time since logging 11 hits each on July 29-30 vs. Boston. It’s the first time the Giants have consecutive double-digit hit games on the road since June 13-14 at St. Louis. After snapping a 1-for-26 skid with two hits on Saturday, IF J.D. Davis lined another two hits on Sunday…he is 5-for-14 (.357) in his last four games. OF Michael Conforto is hitting .414 (12×29) with eight runs, two doubles, two home runs, three RBI, six walks and a 1.204 OPS in his last 10 games. IF Thairo Estrada is batting .375 (12×32) with two runs, three doubles, a home run and four RBI in his last eight games. Rookie OF Luis Matos, who was recalled back to the Majors a few hours prior to first pitch yesterday, hit his second career homer…SF’s 123 RBI by rookies is tied for fourth-most in MLB.

SUMMER FLORES: Since June 1, IF Wilmer Flores has reached base safely via a hit, walk or HBP in 44 of the 50 games he’s played during this stretch. Since June 1 he’s slashing .356/.418/.638 with 13 doubles, 11 homers, 27 RBI, 25 runs scored, 15 walks and 18 strikeouts. Flores’ 1.057 OPS since June 1 is fourth-best in the Majors (min. 175 PA) behind LAA’s Shohei Ohtani (1.228), TEX’s Corey Seager (1.125) and LAD’s Mookie Betts (1.089). He currently leads the team in homers (17) and would be the first Giant to lead the team in home runs, and hit over .300 since C Buster Posey did so in 2014 (Stats, LLC).

RISP-Y BUSINESS: The Giants were 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position yesterday…they are now 9-for-64 (.141) with RISP over their last nine games. SF had six plate appearances with the bases loaded yesterday, with its lone run coming on OF Joc Pederson’s pinch-hit RBI walk (team was 0-for-5 with three strikeouts otherwise). The Giants are 29th with RISP in batting average (.207) and RBI (112) since June 22 and 28th with a .647 OPS.

I’M JUST THE OPENER: LHP Scott Alexander makes his seventh start of 2023. The Giants are 3-3 when Alexander opens, with the lefty posting an 8.44 ERA (5er, 5.1ip) in six starts. With yesterday’s win started by RHP Jakob Junis, SF is now 17-10 in games when using an opener. As a whole, SF has a 3.09 bullpen ERA (151er, 439.2ip), which is the best bullpen ERA in MLB since May 1 with 36.2 innings pitched more than the next closest team (Oakland, 403.0ip). The Giants have 10 pitchers with four or more wins this year, which leads the Majors (Stats, LLC).

RUN WITH CAUTION: The Giants have thrown out 31 base stealers this season, which is most in the National League, and second to only Oakland’s 36. With C Patrick Bailey (61 starts at catcher) and C/OF Blake Sabol (35 starts at catcher), the 2023 Giants are just the seventh team since 1965 to have two rookies start at least 35 games at catcher in the same season, and first since the 2012 Cubs (Stats, LLC). Bailey has been credited with 21 caught stealings, second in MLB, and the most since he was promoted on May 19. His 33.9% caught stealing rate is second-best in MLB (min. 50 games caught).

GRIND IT OUT: The Giants are in the midst of one of the toughest parts of their schedule all season with six straight series against teams in playoff contention.
It started last homestand with Texas (1st in the AL West) and Tampa Bay (2nd in the AL East / 1st AL Wild Card), and continued this past weekend with Atlanta (best record in the MLB). It continues over the next two weeks with this series here in Philadelphia (2nd in NL East / 1st NL Wild Card), Atlanta at home again next weekend and then Cincinnati (1.5 games back of SF for the second Wild Card spot). SF has the 10th-hardest remaining schedule with their opponents having a .511 combined winning percentage.

GRAB YOUR POPCORN:Giants manager Gabe Kapler confirmed to reporters postgame Sunday that the Giants would be promoting top prospect LHP Kyle Harrison to make his debut tomorrow night here in Philadelphia. In addition to being the No. 1 ranked player in the SF system on MLB.com, Harrison is the game’s No. 20 overall prospect
and top left-hander. Harrison’s 14.39 K/9 is second-best in all of MiLB while his 35.6 strikeout rate is tied for fifth-best (min. 65.0ip).


GAME #124 RECAP: The Phillies fell to the Washington Nationals, 4-3, in the Little League Classic on Sunday Night Baseball from Williamsport, PA … Starter Zack Wheeler (L, 9-6) went 7.0 innings and allowed 4 runs on 7 hits with 1 walk and 5 strikeouts – he allowed all 4 runs in the 1st and then held the Nats scoreless through the 7th … The Phils rallied with 3 runs in the 9th, which included a 2-run HR from Jake Cave, but the Nats held on for the win … The Phillies won the season series against the Nats 7-6 and outscored them 93-50 (+43) … In Philadelphia’s 7 wins, they had a +49 run differential (67-18) – in their 6 losses, they had a -6 run differential (26-32) – all 6 of Philadelphia’s losses to the Nats were by 1 run.

REMEMBER THE FIGHTINS: The Phillies are 42-25 over their last 67 games (since 6/3) and their .627 winning percentage since June 3rd ranks 3rd in MLB behind only ATL (47-19, .712 win %) and LAD (41-24, .631 win %) … The Phils opened the 2023 season on the road and went 1-5 in six games through TEX (0- 3) and NYY (1-2) … Since then (4/7-current), they are 66-52 with a .559 winning percentage that ranks 3rd in the National League behind only ATL (.638) and LAD (.612) and 8th in MLB.

LEADING MAN: Since Kyle Schwarber was put back into the leadoff spot on June 2, he has posted a .799 OPS with 47 runs, 19 HR, 51 RBI and 53 walks, and the Phillies are 42-26 (.618 win %) while averaging 5.2 runs per game (352 R, 68 G) … Schwarber has already set a career high in walks this season with 93 (previous: 86 in 2022) and he ranks 2nd in MLB in both walks and walk rate (16.9 %) behind only Juan Soto (106 BB, 19.4%).

TREA DAY: Saturday at WSH, Trea Turner became the first MLB player in history to hit two home runs in one inning off the same relief pitcher – Turner hit two home runs in the 8th inning off WSH reliever Cory Abbott … Turner became just the third Phillies player to ever homer twice in the same inning as he joined Von Hayes (6/11/1985 vs NYM, 1st inn.) and Andy Seminick (6/2/1949 vs CIN, 8th inn.) … Over his last 15 games (since 8/4), Turner is slashing .362/.403/.672 with a 1.076 OPS, 9 R, 6 2B, 4 HR, 12 RBI and 4 BB – this marks Turner’s highest OPS over a 15-game stretch in a single season since Sept. 17-Oct. 3, 2021 (1.229 OPS) with LAD … Over his last 42 games at CBP (181 PA, since 5/6), Turner is slashing .295/.354/.506 (.860 OPS) with 25 runs scored, 20 extra-base hits (12 2B, 3B, 7 HR), 27 RBI, 13 walks and 9 stolen bases.

RISP AND REWARD: Since July 1, the Phillies are batting .293 (106-362) with RISP and their .293 AVG in that span ranks 4th in MLB – their .372 OBP and .855 OPS also rank 4th and their .483 SLG ranks 6th … Overall, the Phillies rank 13th in MLB this year with a .258 AVG with RISP, however, from the start of the season through June, the Phillies ranked 25th with a .239 AVG with RISP … Since July 1, the Phillies have five qualified players with an OPS over .800 with RISP: Kyle Schwarber (1.091), Alec Bohm (1.074), Bryson Stott (.937), Nick Castellanos (.905) and Johan Rojas (.820).

BEDLAM AT THE BANK: The Phillies return home to South Philadelphia where they are 34-24 this season with a .586 winning percentage that ranks 3rd in the National League, behind only LAD (.672) and ATL (.667) and 6th in MLB … Philadelphia is averaging 38,401 in attendance per game which ranks 6th in MLB behind LAD (47,879), NYY (40,987), SD (40,614), STL (40,542) and ATL (39,678) … The Phillies have the largest year-to-year jump in attendance per game of any club in MLB this season at +10,248 (next: CLE, 6,968), which is up from 28,152 per game through 58 games in 2022 … Per Baseball Reference, the last time a team saw a +10,000 spike in attendance from one year to the next was in 2010 when the Twins moved to Target Field from the Metrodome and saw a +10,332 spike from 2009.

GREAT STOTT: Second baseman Bryson Stott leads the Phillies in bWAR this season at 4.0 … Over the last 50 years (since 1973), four Phillies infielders have put up a 4.0 WAR season at age 25 or younger, with the last being shortstop Jimmy Rollins (4.7 WAR) in 2004 at the age of 25 … Prior to Rollins, Hall of Famer Scott Rolen did so four times from 1997-2000 (4.5 at age 25, 4.7 at age 24, 6.7 at age 23 and 4.5 at age 22) and Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt did so twice from 1974-75 (7.7 at age 25 and 9.8 at age 24) … Among all infielders this season aged 25 or younger, Stott’s 4.0 bWAR leads the National League and ranks T-4th in MLB (with KC’s Bobby Witt).

GLOVE AT FIRST SIGHT: Using Statcast’s Outs Above Average, the Phillies have the third-best defense up the middle in MLB this season … The Phillies have gotten 25 OAA from the following three positions combined: second base, shortstop and center field … Their 25 OAA from those three positions rank 3rd in MLB and trails only Kansas City (31 OAA) and CHI (26 OAA) … Individually, Bryson Stott has moved into the top 7 among all players in baseball with 11 OAA this season which ranks T-2nd among all MLB second baseman (with Marcus Semien), trailing only SF’s Thairo Estrada (13 OAA) … Only two Phillies have finished a season with 11 OAA since Statcast started tracking in 2016: OF Peter Bourjos (11 OAA) in 2016 and OF Odubel Herrera (11 OAA) in 2017.

ON THE PLUS SIDE: The Phillies currently have six different players who qualify for the batting title who sport an OPS+ of 105 or greater (league average is 100): Bryce Harper (127 OPS+), Bryson Stott (113), Nick Castellanos (113), J.T. Realmuto (110), Kyle Schwarber (106) and Alec Bohm (105) – Brandon Marsh (125 OPS+) would make it seven, but does not yet qualify for the batting title after missing the last two weeks with a left knee contusion … Philadelphia’s six different players with an OPS+ of 105 or greater ranks T-2nd in MLB with the Dodgers (Betts, Freeman, Martinez, Muncy, Outman, Smith) and trails only Atlanta who has seven players (Acuna, Albies, Arcia, Olson, Ozuna, Riley, Rosario) … Only once in franchise history have the Phillies had six players with an OPS+ of 105 or better, and that was in 1892 when they had a franchise record seven.

HATS OFF TO YOU, THOMS: Since he was named manager on June 3, 2022, Rob Thomson has the Phillies 29 games over .500 at 132-103 with a .562 winning percentage that ranks 6th in MLB, trailing only ATL (.671), LAD (.655), HOU (.606), BAL (.590) and SEA (.585).

2023: 10-8, 4.58 ERA Career: 88-70, 3.71 ERA

LAST START: 8/16 at TOR: ND, 5.0 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, HR, 4 BB, 7 SO … Nola vs Gausman … The Phillies defeated the Toronto Blue Jays, 9-4, and split a two-game series in Canada … Bryce Harper hit two home runs for the Phillies as they had a total of 7 extra-base hits on the night (4 2B, 3 HR) – they put 10 balls in play over 100.0 MPH … Matt Strahm, Craig Kimbrel and Gregory Soto made scoreless appearances in relief of Nola


  • Winning DNA: In his last start, Nola earned his 10th win of the season … It is his 5th, 10-win season of his career and he became 1 of 19 Phillies pitchers to earn at least 5, 10-win seasons in their career … The only Phillies with more 10+ win seasons are Steve Carlton (13), Robin Roberts (12), Grover Alexander (7), Cole Hamels (6), Kyle Kendrick (6), Curt Simmons (6), Bill Duggleby (6) and Al Orth (6)
  • Sharp as a WHIP: Nola has a 1.15 WHIP on the season, which ranks 6th in the NL and T-17th in the ML … Since 2018, Nola’s 1.09 WHIP is T-9th in the major leagues and T-7th in the NL … Nola’s 1.13 career WHIP is T-8th best in Phillies history (min. 500.0 IP)
  • In Play? No Problem: Nola’s opponents have a .275 batting average on balls in play this season, which ranks 6th in the NL (best: Corbin Burnes, .235) … It is the 2nd-lowest mark in his career (best: 2018, .251)
  • 2023 NL Ranks: IP (5th, 153.1), BABIP (6th, .275), WHIP (6th, 1.15), BB/9.0 IP (8th, 2.29), Wins (T-8th, 10) SO (T-8th, 160) and SO/9.0 IP (9th, 9.39)
  • Pitch Usage: Curveball (32.2%), 4-Seam Fastball (28.5%), Sinker (19.6%), Changeup (11.5%), Cutter (8.2%)
  • vs NL West: 12-11, 4.73 ERA (116 ER, 220.2 IP) in 37 starts


  • 2023: 4-3, 3.59 ERA (25 ER, 62.2 IP) in 10 starts
  • Career: 48-27, 3.22 ERA (247 ER, 690.1 IP) in 111 starts

2023 SEASON:

  • Innings Eater: Since the start of the 2018 season, Nola’s 1025.0 IP are the 2nd-most in the majors … This season, Nola has gone at least 6.0 IP in 18 of his 225 starts (72%) … His 18 instances of 6.0 or more innings are tied for tied for the 4th most in the majors behind SF’s Logan Webb, NYY’s Gerrit Cole and ARI’s Zac Gallen
  • Philly Value: Since 2018, Nola is one of two pitchers in baseball to accrue more than 20.0 fWAR (24.1) and pitch for only one team (other: Shane Bieber, 20.5) … In that span, he ranks 5th overall in fWAR behind only Max Scherzer (27.3), Jacob deGrom (27.1), Zack Wheeler (26.9) and Gerrit Cole (26.6) … His 32.5 fWAR as a Phillie is 7th most in franchise history trailing Curt Simmons (33.5) for 6th place
  • What Is It Good For: Additionally, since the start of the 2022 season, Nola’s 8.9 fWAR is the 2nd best among all NL pitchers, trailing only Zack Wheeler (10.1) and is the 3rd most among ML pitchers
  • Road Scholar: Since the start of the 2022 season, among all ML pitchers in road games, Nola has recorded the most SO (215), the most IP (198.2) and has the 5th best SO/BB ratio (5.97) … Nola’s 31 starts on the road in that span are tied for the 2nd most in MLB
  • 7th Heaven: On 8/10, Nola made his 227th career start … Nola now holds sole possession for the 7th most starts in Phillies history … Nola trails Steve Carlton (499), Robin Roberts (472), Chris Short (301), Cole Hamels (294), Grover Alexander (280) and Curt Simmons (263)
  • Phils’ Ranks: Recorded the 30th double-digit SO game of his career and 3rd of 2023 on 7/4 at TB … Is now in sole possession of 3rd place in club history (Curt Schilling is 2nd with 48)
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