Friday, May 20, 2016

Nola and Phillies open three-game series with last place Braves

Aaron Nola has put together stellar numbers in three career starts against the Braves.
The Phillies officially passed the quarter mark of the season on Wednesday by collecting their 24th win of the season in their 41st game. To put that number in perspective, the club played 71 games last season before hitting the 24 win mark on June 21st.

Entering tonight's game against the Atlanta Braves, the Phillies sit one game behind the Washington Nationals in the NL East. Since dropping the first four games of the season the Phillies have gone 24-13, the second best record in baseball since April 9th.

Tonight's Starter
Aaron Nola has dominated the Braves over three career starts, surrendering just three runs over 19 innings. He was victorious in his previous start, tossing seven innings and surrendering two runs (one earned) in a Phillies 4-3 win over Cincinnati.The righty ranks third in the NL in FIP (2.24), WHIP (0.85), and ninth in strikeouts with 53.

At the Plate
Tommy Joseph hit his first career homer on Tuesday night and Tyler Goeddel hit his first on Wednesday afternoon - together, the blasts marked the first time in franchise history that two players hit their first career home runs in back-to-back games.

Promotion
Shortstop J.P. Crawford, rated as the Phillies sixth best prospect according to Baseball America, was promoted this afternoon to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. In 38 games with Reading this season Crawford was hitting .265 with a .389 OBP,  eight doubles, three homers, and 11 RBI. He also was leading the Eastern League in walks with 30.

About Atlanta
The Braves enter tonight in the midst of a 10-game road trip that already has included stops in Kansas City and Pittsburgh. The club named Brian Snitker interim manager earlier this week after firing Freddi Gonzalez.

Odd note: The Braves are 10-30 overall on the season, but have played significantly better on the road than at home. Eight road wins compared to two wins at home.
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Follow Patrick on Twitter: @PGordonPBR

BY PATRICK GORDON
Managing Editor
pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com

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