Phillies hold slim lead in NL East; welcome DBacks to Philly

Phillies set to host the Diamondbacks for three
The Diamondbacks come to Philadelphia riding a four-game winning streak after having completed a sweep of the Blue Jays over the weekend. Meanwhile, the Phillies have won four of their last five despite a 4-3 loss to the Reds on Sunday afternoon.

The Phillies will face a rookie in the series opener on Monday night as the DBacks trot right-hander Taylor Clarke out to the mound. The 26-year-old righty is 1-2 with a 4.43 ERA over five appearances this year, four of which were starts.

The Phils counter with Jerad Eickhoff in the opener who pitched well in his last outing, surrendering just three runs over six innings in a win over the Padres.

Did You Notice
J.T. Realmuto appeared to escape unscathed on Sunday afternoon after he was crossed up on an Aaron Nola pitch that hit him directly in the forearm area just above the wrist. Injuries have been a major issue this year for the Phillies and losing Realmuto would be catastrophic.

Bryce the Aggressor
Aggression can be a good thing, but only in moderation. Bryce Harper provided that reminder on Sunday as he was thrown out in the fifth attempting to steal home. The decision proved pivotal as it ended an inning and the Phils would go on to lose the contest, 4-3.

“[Harper] has been very aggressive on the bases as you guys have seen, and he’s won some games for us with his aggressive baserunning,” Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said. “He and I spoke about it, and he understands that that was a little overaggressive.”



NL East Tightens
The Braves won yesterday in extra innings, trimming the Phils lead in the NL East to a single game. The two teams meet for a three-game set starting this Friday in Atlanta.
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Follow Patrick on Twitter: @PGordonPBR

BY PATRICK GORDON
Managing Editor
pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com

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