The Philadelphia Phillies are looking up at the Atlanta Braves in the National League West standings, hoping to forge a new path behind the arms of starting pitchers Zack Wheeler, Aaron Nola and others.
With reliever Jose Alvarado sidelined due to injury, the team’s rotation has stepped up, leading the Phillies to three straight wins including a ten-inning thriller against the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday.
Recently, MLB.com reporter Mark Feinsand shared a stat showcasing the Phillies’ improvement in recent days. The team entered Thursday with the tenth-worst ERA among starting rotations, but a renaissance appears to be at hand.
“Over the past three games, Taijuan Walker, Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler have allowed 4 ER over 19 IP (1.89 ERA),” Feinsand wrote on his Twitter account.
Ranger Suárez, the Phillies’ promising 27-year-old left-hander, is expected to make his return to the rotation on Saturday, which could signal a forthcoming run.
Hitting wise, the team is in good hands. Philadelphia’s lineup has been striking fear into the hearts of opposing pitchers, including Blue Jays ace Kevin Gausman.
“I think they’re the best lineup in the National League, from top to bottom,” said Gausman to MLB.com.
Philadelphia has gotten even better with the addition Bryce Harper, who received a standing ovation at home in his first game back from Tommy John surgery last Monday.
Now, it’s up to the Phillies to put it all together, in time to make a run at their first World Series title since 2008.
Nola in particular has been on a roll, notching quality starts in four of his last five outings.
“As long as I keep the little goals going well, which is getting the leadoff guy out and getting ahead of hitters, keep the walks down, keep the home runs down, I think better things will happen,” Nola said.
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