Phillies seek 9th series win as Velasquez takes mound opposite Dickey, Braves

By Matt Rappa, Sports Talk Philly editor

PHILADELPHIA — Having won the first two games of the series, the Philadelphia Phillies (37-64) will look to capture their ninth series victory as they take on knuckleballer RHP R.A. Dickey and the Atlanta Braves (48-54) in the third of the four-game set Sunday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park.

Right-hander Vince Velasquez will make his 13th start and his third since returning from the disabled list on July 18, recovered from a right elbow flexor strain.

The Phillies guaranteed at least a series split Saturday evening with their 4-3, 11th-inning victory. Center fielder Odubel Herrera led the way with three hits, including a game-tying, one-out home run in the ninth off of Braves closer RHP Jim Johnson. Third baseman Ty Kelly took advantage of the bases loaded, two-out opportunity in extras with a walk-off RBI single. In relief, RHP Jesen Therrien tossed a scoreless frame in his big league debut, while RHP Luis Garcia extended his scoreless inning streak to 21 2/3 — the longest since RHP Larry Andersen’s 32 2/3-inning club record in 1984. Right-hander Hector Neris received the win, tossing two shutout frames with a strikeout and just one hit allowed on 28 pitches.

The Phillies have won eight of their last 12 games, outscoring their opponents 72-50. They are 5-3 thus far with two games remaining on their current, 10-game homestand. While the Braves have dropped three straight, the Phillies have won three straight.


Starting Pitching Matchup:

Atlanta Braves (48-54) Philadelphia Phillies (37-64)
RHP R.A. Dickey RHP Vince Velasquez
(6-7, 4.31 ERA) (2-6, 5.49 ERA)

Dickey Career vs. PHI: 6-5, 2.98 ERA, 14 G, 14 GS, 90 2/3 IP, 89 H, 37 R, 30 ER, 10 HR, 22 BB, 75 SO, 1.224 WHIP

Dickey, 42, is 1-2 with a 5.40 ERA and 2.000 WHIP ratio in 20 career innings at Citizens Bank Park.

The Nashville, Tennessee native — who won the 2012 National League Cy Young Award with the New York Mets — has lost each of his last two starts. In his most recent appearance, July 24 away against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field, Dickey lasted just 3 2/3 innings, walking five and allowing four runs on 90 pitches (49 strikes).

Season Splits, By Month:

  • April: 4 GS, 2-2, 3.80 ERA, 23 2/3 IP, 16 SO, 9 BB, .261/.330/.467
  • May: 6 GS, 1-2, 5.70 ERA, 36 1/3 IP, 14 SO, 20 BB, .307/.402/.550
  • June: 5 GS, 3-1, 4.02 ERA, 31 1/3 IP, 28 SO, 7 BB, .205/.268/.368
  • July: 5 GS, 0-2, 3.34 ERA, 29 2/3 IP, 24 SO, 13 BB, .264/.357/.391

Dickey

Velasquez Career vs. ATL: 0-1, 3.79 ERA, 3 G, 3 GS, 19 IP, 18 H, 9 R, 8 ER, 2 HR, 4 BB, 18 SO, 1.158 WHIP

Velasquez, 25, has struck out 23.6 percent of his 76 career Braves batters faced spanning three starts and 19 innings. He will make his fourth career start against Atlanta on Sunday, his second of which being home at Citizens Bank Park.

The Montclair, California native tossed just three innings in his most recent start on July 24 due to a rain delay. He suffered the loss, allowing four runs on six hits and three walks. Velasquez has surrendered at least one home run in each of his last five starts.

Season Splits, By Month:

  • April: 4 GS, 1-2, 6.33 ERA, 21 1/3 IP, 22 SO, 12 BB, .259/.358/.519
  • May: 6 GS, 1-3, 5.02 ERA, 28 2/3 IP, 31 SO, 9 BB, .274/.331/.487
  • June: 0 GS
  • July: 2 GS, 0-1, 5.00 ERA, 9 IP, 5 SO, 4 BB, .303/.378/.606

Velasquez


Starting Lineups:

Atlanta Braves (48-54) Philadelphia Phillies (37-64)
  Position Player Bats   Position Player Bats
1 CF Ender Inciarte L 1 2B  Cesar Hernandez S
2 2B Brandon Phillips R 2 SS Freddy Galvis S
3 3B Freddie Freeman L 3 RF Aaron Altherr R
4 1B Matt Adams L 4 LF Nick Williams L
5 RF Nick Markakis L 5 1B Tommy Joseph R
6 C Kurt Suzuki R 6 CF Odubel Herrera L
7 SS Johan Camargo S 7 3B Maikel Franco R
8 LF Sean Rodriguez R 8 C Andrew Knapp S
9 P R.A. Dickey R 9 P Vince Velasquez R


Broadcast Information:

  • First pitch: 1:35 p.m.
  • TV: CSN
  • Radio: SportsRadio 94 WIP

Game Notes:

  • Lifetime against Velasquez, Braves center fielder Ender Inciarte and third baseman Freddie Freeman are batting a combined 3-19 with seven strikeouts. Spanning 16 career at-bats against Dickey, shortstop Freddy Galvis has a pair of singles, one triple, one home run, two RBIs and a walk (.250/.294/.563).

CareerVS

  • Herrera’s batting average now sits at .276. Exactly two months ago, the Venezuela native was hitting a season-low .217.
  • Sunday is the only day of the week where the Phillies have a record greater than .500, 9-8. They are 4-7 on Mondays, 4-10 on Tuesdays, 4-12 on Wednesdays, 5-5 on Thursdays, 5-11 on Fridays and 6-11 on Saturdays.




What’s Next:

  • Monday, July 31, 2017: vs. Atlanta Braves, 12:35 p.m.
    • Citizens Bank Park
    • RHP Mike Foltynewicz (9-5, 3.82 ERA) vs. RHP Nick Pivetta (3-6, 5.73 ERA)
    • TV: CSN; Radio: SportsRadio 94 WIP