By Josh Liddick, Sports Talk Philly editor
The Philadelphia Phillies (41-34) are trying to erase any memory of their late-inning collapse against the Nationals on Sunday night as the New York Yankees (50-25) come to Citizens Bank Park for a three-game set starting Monday night.
It's not every day that the Phillies get an interleague matchup with the Yankees at home, as this is the first regular-season meeting between the two teams in Philly since June 21, 2006.
The Phillies led the Nationals in Washington Sunday night 6-2 before allowing six unanswered runs to end the game, falling 8-6. The Phillies have won seven of their last 10 games, while the Yankees have dropped their last three games, just barely clinging on to the title as the 'Best Team in Baseball.'
Despite almost six years of hardships on the diamond, the Phillies have won four of the last five matchups against the Yankees. In the last meeting between the two, New York beat Philadelphia 10-2 at Yankee Stadium on June 24, 2015, almost three years to the date. The Yankees are just 13-14 vs. the Phillies all-time, one of just two National League teams in which they have a sub-.500 record during the regular season (Dodgers: 6-7).
A win for the Yankees gives them a little more breathing room atop the AL East, currently tied for the division lead with the Boston Red Sox. The Phillies, on the other hand, are still fighting for the second wild card spot, only a half-game up on both the Nationals and Dodgers.
On Monday night, the recently sliding Yankees will look to right the ship against a Phillies offense that has been depleted by injuries as of late. Third baseman Maikel Franco suffered a foot injury against the Nationals on Sunday night after slipping on the first base bag following a 38-minute rain delay. It seems that he didn't suffer any major injury, but it will be something to monitor on Monday night. Mitch Walding played the second half of Sunday's game at third base.
If there's a player to watch for New York, it's got to be Giancarlo Stanton, who went 5-for-5 with two doubles, a home run, two runs scored, and two RBIs in a loss against the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday.
While pitcher Jonathan Loaisiga is making just his third big-league start, the Yankees' pitching staff has been the best in the business with runners in scoring position, holding opponents to a Major League-low .178 (30-for-169) batting average with RISP.
Starting Pitching Matchup:
RHP Jonathan Loaisiga — Age: 23;
In Loaisiga's third start of his major league career, he will attempt to bounce back. The 23-year-old right-hander allowed three runs on six hits in a no-decision against the Mariners. He managed to strike out four and walk two.
Between Double-A Trenton and High-A Tampa this season, Loaisiga is 6-1 with a 3.00 ERA in 10 starts. He was called up to the majors on June 15 directly from Trenton.
RHP Vince Velasquez — Age: 26;
Vince Velasquez has had two sharp starts in a row, despite getting the No Decision his last time out against the Cardinals. Two starts ago, Velasquez took a no-hitter into the seventh inning against the Rockies.
It's awfully nice to see Velasquez find success on the mound this season, considering all the injury hardships he's been through the past three or so seasons. This will be his third career appearance against the Yankees and the first since 2015.