Phillies lean on Vinny Velasquez in crucial series opener with Rays

Phillies lean on Vinny Velasquez

It all comes down to a weekend series in Tampa Bay for the Phillies and their postseason hopes. For the Phils to clinch a playoff berth, they have to win at least two games over the Rays. A sweep would nearly guarantee a spot in October. 

“It’s very special when you get there,” Bryce Harper said speaking of the postseason. “It’s one of the funnest environments I’ve ever played in. I’m very excited to hopefully be in that position this year. 

"I think it would solidify us in many different ways. Not just one year, but in multiple years, being able to get free agents to come in here, because they know that we’re a postseason team that they can come to and help us win. 

"I think we’re a postseason organization. You saw it for a long period of time. We need to get back there. That’s why I came here. I came here to win. I came here to be successful as an organization I came here to get the Philadelphia Phillies back to Broad Street.” 

The NL teams ranked sixth through ninth are still separated by only one game. This includes the Phillies, Reds, Marlins, Cardinals, Brewers, and Giants.(27-27).

Big Start for Vinny
It'll be the biggest start of Vince Velasquez's career tonight as he attempts to push the Phils closer to a postseason spot. He surrendered one run in six innings in his previous outing against Toronto. Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola will start the final two contests in Tampa Bay.

Tonight's Lineup
McCutchen 7 
Bohm 5 
Harper DH 
Realmuto 3 
Gregorius 6 
Segura 4 
Bruce 9 
Knapp 2 
Kingery 8

Roster Moves
The Phillies reinstated Spencer Howard from the Injured List and optioned Mickey Moniak to the alternate site at Lehigh Valley. The club also recalled Ranger Suarez. 
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BY PATRICK GORDON
Managing Editor
pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com

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