This matchup will feature two teams battling for a spot in the postseason in their respective leagues. After winning five straight games, Boston enters the week six games back in the chase for the final Wild Card spot in the American League. Meanwhile, the Phillies have dropped two straight to fall two games back of the Chicago Cubs for the National Leagues’ final postseason spot. Can the Red Sox keep up their momentum at home versus the Phillies on Wednesday night?
Smyly starting to stumble in Phillies rotation
Philadelphia will turn to reclamation project Drew Smyly for the final game of their series at Fenway Park on Wednesday night. After beginning his career with the Phillies with back-to-back quality starts, Smyly has stumbled in each of his last three outings. He allowed five runs on seven hits in five innings of work during his last trip to the mound, but escaped with a no-decision in a 7-5 victory over the Chicago Cubs. It marked the third straight start in which Smyly had surrendered at least five runs, but there were still positives to takeaway for the 30-year-old lefty.
.@bryceharper3 has seven home runs and 17 RBI in his last nine games.
He also has 90 RBI on the season.
The man is 🔥🔥🔥. pic.twitter.com/0R50m7SSAZ
— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) August 17, 2019
Prior to being acquired by Philadelphia, Smyly had made 13 appearances (9 starts), but only completed five innings or more three times as a member of the Texas Rangers. Since dawning a Phillies’ uniform, Smyly has completed five innings or more in all five of his starts, while posting a respectable 1-1 record and a 4.71 ERA. He comes in with a 7.09 ERA and a 2-6 overall record in 18 appearances (14 starts) so far this year.
Smyly has faced the Red Sox 10 times in his career (eight starts), going 3-1 with a stellar 2.18 ERA in those outings. According to Baseball Savant, current Red Sox are batting only .212 in 71 plate appearances off the Phillies’ left-hander heading into Wednesday’s matchup.
Sale out for the remainder of 2019
Boston’s dwindling playoff hopes took another big hit on Monday when it was announced that left-handed ace Chris Sale would miss the rest of the season due to inflammation in his pitching elbow. While he doesn’t need the famed Tommy John Surgery, Sale underwent a plasma injection and will be re-evaluated in six weeks by Dr. James Andrews. The 30-year-old ace struck out 12 batters in his last start, becoming the fastest pitcher in MLB history to reach 2,000 career strikeouts, but was placed on the injured list four days later.
Mookie Betts homers for a Make-A-Wish kid 👏 pic.twitter.com/kyAsuX4ick
— Baseball Bros (@BaseballBros) August 17, 2019
The Red Sox will try to keep the postseason chances alive on Wednesday by sending right-hander Rick Porcello to the hill for their series finale versus Philadelphia. Porcello will try to build momentum after tossing his second quality start in three outings last time out versus the Baltimore Orioles. The 30-year-old surrendered just one run on four hits in six innings of work to earn his sixth win in his last eight starts. When Procello has been good, he’s been a valuable innings-eater for the Red Sox, but he’s mixed in too many poor outings this season. Despite his recent success, the right-hander has given up five earned runs or more in six of his last 10 starts. He comes in with an 11-9 overall record to go along with a 5.49 ERA in 25 starts.
In four career outings versus the Phillis, Porcello is 2-1 with a 4.32 ERA. According to Baseball Savant, current Phillies’ hitters are batting .264 in 170 plate appearances off the Red Sox right-hander heading into Wednesday’s matchup.
- Phillies are 3-7 in their last 10 Wednesday games.
- Phillies are 1-5 in their last 6 road games.
- Phillies are 1-5 in their last 6 interleague road games vs. a team with a winning record.
- Red Sox are 8-2 in their last 10 interleague games vs. a left-handed starter.
- Red Sox are 40-13 in their last 53 vs. National League East.
- Red Sox are 39-13 in their last 52 Wednesday games.