Phillies-Yankess Prepare for Doubleheader

By Greg Hall, Sports Talk Philly editor

Prepare for trouble... and make it double.

For the first time in Phillies (1-3) franchise history, the team will be playing a doubleheader comprised of two seven inning games.

Both contests against the New York Yankees (8-1) will be played in a mostly-empty Citizens Bank Park, however, the teams will split home team duties as the Phillies will play the "road" team in the first game and the "home" team for the second. Game one is scheduled to begin at 4:05 with game two starting roughly 35 minutes after the first concludes.

Each will air on NBCSP (tv) and WIP/WTTM1680 (radio) with game one also getting national television coverage on FS1.

While the Yankees have not announced their rotation at the time of this writing (check back for updates before first pitch), Phillies skipper Joe Girardi has lined up RHP Zack Wheeler (game one) and RHP Aaron Nola (game two), his two horses, to start.

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Arrieta Pitches Well in Loss to Yankees

By Greg Hall, Sports Talk Philly editor

We saw this coming.

That does not mean it stings any less.

Coming off a seven day break, the Phillies bats could not muster enough offense against New York Yankees ace Gerrit Cole as they lost the first of a four game series, 6-3 at Yankee Stadium.

The loss drops the Phillies to 1-3, while the red-hot Yankees improved to 8-1.

MLB.com Box Score

It was not all bad for the Phils as righty Jake Arrieta made his season debut and pitched better than his stat line indicates.

In his first start in almost a year, Arrieta pitched five innings, giving up three runs on seven hits, including two home runs. However, he did not walk a batter, struck out four, had good movement on his fastball and even touched 94 mph on the radar gun. He threw 74 pitches before being removed for the sixth inning.

That is when the wheels came off.

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Phillies-Yankees Postponed Tuesday; Doubleheader Wednesday

By Greg Hall, Sports Talk Philly editor

That didn't last long.

After their first game in eight days, the Phillies-Yankees game set for Tuesday evening has been postponed due to the incoming inclement weather stemming from Tropical Storm Isaias.

The two teams will play a doubleheader Wednesday beginning at 4:05 at Citizens Bank Park with the Phillies being the "road" team in the first game and the "home" team for the second. There will be approximately 35 minutes between contests.

With the rule change implemented this season, both games will be seven innings.

Aaron Nola was scheduled to pitch Tuesday and Zack Wheeler on Wednesday; it remains a question if manager Joe Girardi will ride his two horses for the doubleheader. This could be an opportunity for top pitching prospect Spencer Howard to make his big-league debut, pushing Wheeler back to Thursday's series finale.


The Phillies Are Back, but Where Are the Kids?

By Greg Hall, Sports Talk Philly editor

The Phillies resume play Monday night against Gerrit Cole and the New York Yankees after an eight day layoff that seemed longer than the 133 days between Spring Training being shutdown in March and Opening Day in July. But where are the team's top two prospects now that teams can bring up players without losing a year of service time?

They're coming... soon(ish).

Manager Joe Girardi has tabbed RHP Jake Arrieta to make his season debut Monday night against Cole, while RHP Aaron Nola will pitch Tuesday night against former Phillies LHP J.A. Happ. Beyond that, the Phillies have yet to announce their rotation, but it stands to reason that RHP Zack Wheeler and fellow righty Zach Eflin will finish out the series against the Yankees with RHP Vince Velasquez toeing the slab Friday night against the Atlanta Braves in Philadelphia. After that, however, is largely unknown.

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"Unleashed With Mitch Williams" Podcast ft. STP Writer Greg Hall

By Greg Hall, Sports Talk Philly editor

Earlier this week, STP writer Greg Hall had the chance to co-host the debut episode of a new podcast with former Phillies legend Mitch Williams.

Unleashed with Mitch Williams is Williams' first time back in the media in roughly six years after being let go by the MLB Network and the subsequent lawsuit that kept him off the air.

In the maiden voyage, the guys talk about Williams' absence, Rob Manfred's handling of Major League Baseball since the start of the pandemic and, of course, the Fightin' Phils performance before being shut down this week.

The video version is above, but if you prefer an audio-only feed, here are some links:

APPLE PODCASTS https://apple.co/3jPpmPc

ALL DEVICEShttps://castbox.fm/vd/292834614


Phillies Add Three to Player Pool

By Greg Hall, Sports Talk Philly editor

The Phillies have announced the additions of RHP Adonis Medina, IF Bryson Stott and IF/OF Austin Listi to the club's 60-man player pool. All three will report to the team's alternate training site in Lehigh Valley.

Medina, a top pitching prospect, struggled in 2019 to the tune of a 4.94 ERA with only 82 strikeouts across 105 2/3 innings (22 games) for Double-A Reading. He is already on the team's 40-man roster.

Stott, the club's first-round pick in 2019 out of UNLV, had a strong professional debut, posting a .295/.391/.494 slash in 193 Single-A plate appearances. While Stott was a collegiate draft selection, the chances are a bit more slim of him making an impact in 2020, especially given the infield depth the Phillies currently have.

Listi, a 17th-round selection in 2017, has some appeal given the 19 homers he hit between Double-A and Triple-A last season and his ability to play the corner infield spots as well as the outfield. A right-handed hitter, Listi has perhaps the highest chances of the three to contribute at the major-league level in 2020. 


Phillies Set Rotation for Friday Return

By Greg Hall, Sports Talk Philly editor

UPDATE: Friday's game against the Blue Jays has been shifted to a double-header on Saturday. Original story below

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As if it weren’t wacky enough that the Phillies were going to be the road team at Citizens Bank Park when the Toronto Blue Jays come to town this weekend (not the first time that has happened, by the way), it will also be the first game the Phils will take part in since their 11-6 loss to the Miami Marlins on Sunday.

After the Phillies four game set with the New York Yankees was postponed due to the Coronavirus outbreak amongst the Marlins, who are still quarantining in Philadelphia as of this writing, a lot of questions arose as to how manager Joe Girardi would handle his pitching staff going into the weekend’s games against Toronto. Those questions have now been answered, and then some.

Girardi will move the season debuts of Jake Arrieta and Zach Eflin back to allow Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler to pitch closer to their regularly scheduled days. There was also an announcement about the first two games of the Marlins series set for Aug 4-6, if they were to take place.

The rotation, for now, will proceed as follows:

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Didi Goes Yard in Opening Day Loss

By Greg Hall, Sports Talk Philly editor

On a night where Aaron Nola looked to run out of gas in the sixth, the offense was flat and a rookie made a rocky big-league debut out of the pen, one of the Phillies (0-1) new acquisitions shined bright.

The Phils took the loss 5-2 to the Miami Marlins (1-0) at Citizens Bank Park and continued their struggles against the Fish. The offense mustered just five hits; two of them were delivered by SS Didi Gregorius, who homered in his Phillies debut. He also scored the other Phillies run on a Marlines error.

Nola did not cruise, but he pitched well enough for the first five innings. Tied 1-1 in the sixth, he hung an 0-2 curveball to 1B Jesus Aguilar that still has not landed yet to give the Marlins a 3-1 lead. After Corey Dickerson followed that up with a double, manager Joe Girardi went to RHP Ramon Rosso to make his major-league debut in a very high leverage situation.

It did not go well.

Rosso could not find the strike zone, although his power arm made it clear what the Phillies see in his potential. He threw a wild pitch that scored a run, walked a batter and gave up an RBI double. Girardi had enough and made the move to another arm making his Phillies debut, RHP Reggie McClain, who got the team out of any further trouble.

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Phillies 2020 Opening Day Preview

By Greg Hall, Sports Talk Philly editor

The time has finally arrived. After 299 long days, The Phillies (0-0) play regular season baseball again as they host the Miami Marlins (0-0) in the 60-game 2020 season opener at a mostly empty Citizens Bank Park.

In a season many believed would not happen just weeks ago, baseball is back and with an expanded playoff field, now to 16 teams.

First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 pm on NBCSP (tv) and WIP (radio) with a forecast that calls for rain early, but should be cleared in time for baseball.

In what will be manager Joe Girardi’s Phillies debut, he will send RHP Aaron Nola to the mound to face 2019 NL All-Star RHP Sandy Alcantara. It is Nola’s third straight Opening Day start, the first Phillies pitcher to accomplish that since the late Roy Halladay from 2010-12. The Phillies went 9-10 against the Marlins in 2019 and will need to fare much better against the Fish if they want to truly compete in 2020.

While Nola’s record against the Marlins last season was 0-2 in three starts, he did pitch to a 2.08 ERA across 21 2/3 innings, racking up 21 strikeouts and keeping opposing hitters to a .231 batting average. In his three starts against the Phillies, Alcantara went 2-1 with a 3.86 ERA, striking out 17 in 18 2/3 innings.

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