While the Philadelphia Phillies have fallen further from postseason contention — losing eight of their last 10 contests and winless in seven straight series — the 2018 club's ultimate fate really will not be decided until their final 11 games, seven of which will be played against the National League East-leading Atlanta Braves.
Every aspect of those seven games will be critical for the Phillies as they look to inch closer and make up lost ground. Recognizing the high stakes of the stretch, FOX Sports has flexed the club's originally-scheduled Saturday, Sept. 22, game at SunTrust Park from 7:10 p.m., to a nationally-televised 1:05 p.m. game, according to The Athletic's Nubyjas Wilborn.
The flexed game is the third of a four-game set. The first two games will be played at 7:35 p.m., while the latter two will now be played at 1:05 and 1:35 p.m.
The time change may not seem significant, however the Phillies are a recognizably-different team during the day than at night. The club is averaging 4.6 runs per night games (88 games) as opposed to 3.8 runs per day games (44). The Braves, meanwhile, are averaging 5 runs per day games (43), as opposed to 4.6 runs per night games (88). Phillies pitching has a 4.02 ERA during the day (389 2/3 innings), as opposed to a 3.83 ERA (796) at night. Likewise, Braves pitching has a 3.88 ERA during day games (385) and a 3.62 ERA at night (795 2/3).
In addition to their Sept. 22 game against the Phillies, FOX Sports has also flexed the Braves' Saturday, Sept. 15 game against the Washington Nationals to a 1:05 p.m., nationally-televised start.
The Phillies are 7-8 all-time at SunTrust Park since the venue opened last season, outscored 74-51 and outhit 143-112. The Phillies and Braves have split their two day games against each other at the venue, Sept. 24, 2017 (PHI, 2-0) and Opening Day 2018, March 29 (ATL, 8-5). With 30 games left to play this season, the Phillies trail the Braves by 4 1/2 games and the second Wild Card spot by 2 1/2 games.