Phillies learn valuable lessons from a tough series in L.A.
The Phillies got swept in a measuring stick series this weekend against the Dodgers. Here are a few things this series revealed about the Phillies
That was ugly. The Phillies had a measuring stick series this weekend against the Dodgers in Los Angeles. They got swept. Here are a few things this series revealed about the Phillies
They Need a Left-Handed Starter
This was a bizarre series for the starting rotation. Jake Arrieta got torched for four home runs in his start Friday night. They didn’t have a starter at all Saturday as they went with the opener (more on that later) and Nick Pivetta somehow managed to throw six shutout innings on Sunday.
The pitching staff did a reasonably good job against an outstanding Dodgers offense (except for the eighth inning on Sunday), but this series still demonstrated the increasingly severe need for a left-handed starter.
All of the Phillies starters are right-handed, and most of the Dodgers lineup is decidedly not right-handed. The Dodgers have one of the most sinister lineups in baseball (sinister is the Latin word for left-handed, bet you didn’t know that!). Max Muncy, Corey Seager, Joc Pederson, Alex Verdugo and that Cody Bellinger guy are all left-handed, and what’s the best way to get left-handed batters out, class? That’s right! With a left-handed starter! (I’m sorry, I’ve been awful condescending so far, I’ll stop).
Cole Irvin is the only lefty the Phillies have had start this season, and he allowed two runs in 3.2 innings on Saturday. The pitching staff as a whole has been underwhelming. Jake Arrieta and Zach Eflin are the only starters with an ERA under 4.00, and Arrieta is just barely under at 3.96.
Lefties are batting .285/.364/.521 with 49 homers against the Phillies this year. If the Phillies are going to make a deep postseason run, they’re going to have to go through some tough lefties. I don’t see them doing that with their current rotation. Luckily for the Phillies, there are some excellent left-handed starters potential available, most notably Dallas Keuchel and Madison Bumgarner.