Phillies preparing for big road series against Gabe Kapler-led Giants

Pitcher Kyle Gibson #44 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
Pitcher Kyle Gibson #44 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /

The Phillies will turn to Kyle Gibson in Friday’s opener against the Giants.

As the Philadelphia Phillies begin the last leg of their West Coast road trip against the San Francisco Giants on Friday, interim manager Rob Thomson’s squad will turn to veteran right-hander Kyle Gibson.

The Phillies had an offensive outburst Wednesday night to close out their series against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Despite the 22-hit, 18-2 victory, the Phillies still lost the series — continuing a trend of recent struggles against National League West teams.

The Phillies will hope to carry the momentum from the series finale to San Francisco this weekend when they oppose their former manager, Gabe Kapler.

Like Chase Field, Oracle Park has not been kind to the Phillies in recent years. The team has not won a series at the venue since 2011 — the last season they made the postseason.

There is some room for hope, however. The Giants are seven games under .500 and have lost seven in a row entering the pivotal series. As the Phils continue their hunt to become one of three National League Wild Card teams, the set against the Giants is critical with just more than 30 games remaining.

The San Diego Padres and Milwaukee Brewers are essentially the lone remaining competition. The Brewers are playing the Diamondbacks this weekend and fell 5-0 in the series opener on Thursday. Fans can hope that the D-backs continue to handle the Brewers in the next three games — the way they did to the Phillies.

Meanwhile, the Padres will travel to Los Angeles to take on the National League West-leading Dodgers for three games starting Friday. This will be a tough test for the Padres, and the Phillies would appreciate the Dodgers handling business.

Yet, to make the postseason, the Phillies must take care of business on their end. They will start right-hander Kyle Gibson on Friday, followed by Noah Syndergaard and Ranger Suarez in Sunday’s finale. These starting pitchers will need to keep them in games. The team will also lean on its offense to carry over the momentum from Wednesday and score some runs.

If the Phils can win this series and continue to just take things series by series, they should position themselves nicely to play meaningful “Red October” baseball.

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