Phillies Series Preview: vs Arizona Diamondbacks
FRIDAY: Adam Morgan (1-5, 6.33 ERA) vs Robbie Ray (3-5, 4.57 ERA): after opening his season with three straight strong starts, the 24-year old southpaw Ray has failed to reach the 7th inning in eight of his last ten outings. In those last ten he has an ERA of 5.51 and has allowed 65 hits over 50.2 innings. However, he also has a 61/21 K:BB ratio over that span, so while he can get hit, he also piles up the K’s, and this free-swinging Phillies lineup could play right into his hands. Morgan rebounded nicely in his last start, but only after putting the Phils into a big hole. He has much to prove moving forward.
SATURDAY: Jerad Eickhoff (4-8, 3.40 ERA) vs Zack Greinke (9-3, 3.75 ERA): the now 32-year old right-handed Greinke was the 2009 AL Cy Young Award winner as a member of the Kansas City Royals. After moving through Milwaukee and on to LA, Greinke was an NL All-Star and Gold Glover the last two seasons with the Dodgers. His K/9 are down for a 2nd straight year, his H/9 and HR/9 are up this season, but he is coming on fast. Greinke has won six straight starts. Over those half-dozen most recent outings he has allowed just 30 hits in 44 innings with a 35/6 K:BB ratio, and has lowered his ERA by more than a run and a half. He will pose a major challenge for the anemic Phils offense. Eickhoff has been outstanding his last two outings. He’ll need to be again for the club to have a shot.
SUNDAY: Zach Eflin (0-1,27.00 ERA) vs Archie Bradley (2-3, 5.66 ERA): a pair of promising youngsters match up here. Bradley has been a Top 100 MLB Prospect for a couple of years now. Since being recalled from AAA in late May he has allowed just 17 hits in 24.2 innings over four starts with a 33/11 K:BB ratio. Included in there was a 10-strikeout effort at Wrigley Field. Eflin was shelled in his first big league start against a potent Toronto Blue Jays lineup. This lineup is not quite that powerful, but they do have a number of offensive producers. This will be a big test of not only his stuff, but his mental makeup, his ability to bounce back.
MONDAY: Jeremy Hellickson (4-5, 4.46 ERA) vs Patrick Corbin (3-6, 4.76 ERA): the 26-year old southpaw Corbin missed the entire 2014 season and much of the start of the 2015 campaign following Tommy John surgery. Expected to be primed and ready to go this year, he has failed to perform up to lofty expectations. However, Corbin is working on a streak of three consecutive Quality Starts, and the Phillies may be catching him at just the wrong time. Hellickson pitched last season in Arizona, going 9-12 with a 4.62 ERA for the Dbacks, so their lineup and coaching staff should be familiar with him. He has gone at least six innings in seven of his last eight starts, so he certainly does give the Phillies innings.
Next: PHILLIES KEYS TO VICTORY OVER THE DBACKS