Phillies welcome Braves for important four-game set in South Philly

Phillies and Braves square off
The Phillies welcome the Braves for a four-game set at Citizens Bank Park starting tonight. Jake Arrieta will take the bump for the Phils, opposing right-hander Kyle Wright.

Arrieta tossed five innings in his season debut earlier this week against the Yankees, surrendering three runs on seven hits. It was his first game action on the hill since undergoing surgery last August to remove a bone spur from his elbow.

The Braves counter with one of their better pitching prospects in Wright. The 24-year-old has struggled in two starts this season, pitching to a 7.50 ERA along with a 2.67 WHIP.

The Braves enter play tonight at 9-5 and a game behind the Marlins for the top spot in the NL East. The club's +21 run differential is the third-best in the Majors.

Tonight's lineup
McCutchen DH
Hoskins 3
Harper 9
Realmuto 2
Gregorius 6
Segura 5
Bruce 7
Kingery 4
Haseley 8

Sunday debut
With Friday's rainout, the Phillies and Braves will play a doubleheader on Sunday. The club intends to promote top pitching prospect Spencer Howard to start one of the contests.

“I have no official announcement,” Phillies manager Joe Girardi said Saturday afternoon, “but you can expect a young right-hander to start tomorrow. I'll just leave it at that. [His] initials are S.H."

Howard brings an electric fastball along with three other solid pitches in a curve, slider, and changeup. The Phillies selected the right-hander in the second round of the 2017 Draft.

"He's a very polished young guy with a big arm," Phillies pitching coach Bryan Price said. "Getting the first one under his belt is something we are all excited to see."

Staying home
The Phillies are now scheduled to play 16 of their first 17 games of the 2020 season at Citizens Bank Park. The last major league team to play 16 of 17 over any point of the season at home was the 2003 Expos in April (some of those games were in San Juan, some in Montreal - 16 home games in a row). The last time the Phillies did it was in in June/July of 1972 (17 in a row, June 28 to July 12).
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Follow Patrick on Twitter: @PGordonPBR

BY PATRICK GORDON
Managing Editor
pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com

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