Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Phillies travel to Arlington to open series with Rangers

Philadelphia Phillies head to Texas to face Rangers.
The Philadelphia Phillies open a series tonight against the Rangers, marking just the third time in franchise history the club has traveled to Arlington and first since the 2014 season. The Phillies have lost all four of their series this month and have dropped 12 of their last 15 games.

Phillies first baseman Tommy Joseph is on an upswing, slamming his fourth homer of the month Sunday in the first game of a doubleheader with Washington.

“I feel more comfortable than I did,” Joseph said. “I’m putting myself in better positions, better counts. I’ve been doing a better job of elevating the ball.”

Jerad Eickhoff will get the start on the mound tonight for the Phillies. The right-hander is 0-3 with a 4.76 ERA. He has really struggled as of late. In his last three starts, Eickhoff is 0-2 with an ERA of 8.40. His last start was one one of the worst of his career. He allowed five runs on eight hits in just 3 2/3 innings in a 10-9 loss to Seattle at Citizens Bank Park.

This will be Eickhoff’s first-ever appearance against his former organization. He was acquired in 2015 as part of the Cole Hamels trade.

Texas is 19-20 on the season and tied for second in the American League West. The Rangers will start right-hander Yu Darvish tonight. He is 3-2 and his earned run average is 2.96 ERA. he has never faced the Phillies.

The Rangers have struggled at the plate, hitting just .227 on the season with a 23.2% strikeout rate. Their bullpen has sputtered too, pitching to a 5.10 ERA.
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Follow Patrick on Twitter: @PGordonPBR

BY PATRICK GORDON
Managing Editor
pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com

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