Phillies, Ranger Suarez head to Atlanta to oppose Braves in critical series
The Phillies will begin a three-game road series Friday against the Braves.
After taking two of three games against the Miami Marlins, the Philadelphia Phillies will turn their attention to the Atlanta Braves for a three-game series. The Phillies will have their hands full against a Braves team that is battling it out with the New York Mets for the National League East Division title.
The Braves have been one of the best teams in baseball and have a lineup and rotation full of young and veteran stars.
The Phillies will send left-hander Ranger Suarez to the mound on Friday, followed by Aaron Nola on Saturday and Bailey Falter in Sunday’s finale. While the Phillies are featuring some of their best, healthy starting pitchers out this weekend, the offense will have to deal with two Braves starting pitchers who have been very good in 2022.
Left-hander Max Fried, who is 13-6 with a 2.50 ERA, will pitch Friday night against Suarez. Rookie sensation Spencer Strider will pitch opposite Falter on Sunday afternoon. Strider has been mentioned in the National League Rookie of the Year conversation, as he has a 2.72 ERA with 192 strikeouts in 125 2/3 innings.
While these two Braves starters have been dominant, the Phillies are sending out three solid starters of their own who have a chance to keep the team in games long enough for the offense to get going.
Nola has pitched well so far this month — over a small sample size that was made smaller with the extended rain delay last Sunday. Suarez has looked tired at times of late, but has shown that he can be an effective pitcher. The most impressive of all, perhaps, is left-hander Bailey Falter — who has held the rotation together with the recent struggles of Suarez and Kyle Gibson, and the injury to Zack Wheeler.
The road to the postseason does not get any easier after this weekend for the Phillies — who face a competent Toronto Blue Jays team for two games, followed by a four-game series against the Braves, both of which are in Philadelphia.
The club has done a good job of beating the teams that they are supposed to beat. Now, they will have to remain steady against good teams. If the Phillies can hold their own and finish this tough stretch around .500, they will put themselves in a good position to make the postseason — as long as they take care of business in their remaining schedule.