Yankees travel to Philadelphia for rare series with Phillies

Phillies set to host Yankees
Despite the bullpen implosion Sunday night, the Phillies pieced together an impressive weekend in Washington taking two-of-three from the division rival Nationals. The club aims to stay hot Monday as the Yankees visit Philadelphia for a three-game set.

The Phillies will enter Monday's contest sitting just 2 1/2 games behind the Braves in the NL East. The Yankees, meanwhile, intend to turn things around after being swept on the road in a three-game set in Tampa Bay.

The visit to Philly marks the first for the Yankees since 2009.

Vince Velasquez will start the series opener for the Phils, aiming to build off two consecutive strong outings. He's notched 14 strikeouts over his last 13 innings while pitching to a 4.15 ERA. The Yankees counter in the opener with rookie Jonathan Loaisiga making just his third start. The 23-year-old right-hander surrendered three runs on six hits and lasted just 3 2/3 innings in his previous outing last week against Seattle.

This series has the potential to put the Phillies in baseball's spotlight. A solid effort, highlighted by let's say a pair of wins, reasonably puts the club in the conversation of legitimate NL contenders. It'll also be a frenzied atmosphere at Citizens Bank Park over the next three days as you know Yankees' fans travel well, especially down I-95.

A Real Concern
Seranthony Dominguez is human. He proved that again on Sunday, surrendering a pair of runs on a walk and three hits in the finale against the Nationals. He's been the best arm in the bullpen over the last month, but he can't do it all himself.

The Phillies need bullpen help, especially if the club anticipates meaningful baseball come late-September. It's why the club left Washington short of a three-game sweep and that one win, though it may not seem it right now, may prove costly in a tight divisional or wild card race.

The trade deadline is a little more than a month away, but general manager Matt Klentak shouldn't need any more time to see his club's biggest weakness on display.

He's Alright
Maikel Franco exited Sunday's contest after slipping on the first base bag after legging out an infield single. He said afterward he felt fine and he's slotted to bat seventh on Monday night.

Phillies Starting Lineup
Hernandez 4
Hoskins 7
Herrera 8
Santana 3
Williams 9
Kingery 6
Franco 5
Alfaro 2
Velasquez 1
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BY PATRICK GORDON
Managing Editor
pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com

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