Last night the Phillies proved to be inching towards a real threat come playoff time. The game did not go as planned as the electric Dodger offense went to work leading the Phils 4-1 at the end of the 4th. To the suprise of many, the Phillies responded with 4 runs of their own in the bottom of the 5th. Unfortunately, 2 runs in the top of 9th was too much to comeback from as the Phillies went on to lose 7-6. Tonight, with all-star Aaron Nola on the mound, the Phillies will try to steal a game from the strong Dodgers lineup.
In order for the Phillies to find success tonight, Nola will need to survive the first 3 innings with as little damage as possible. Aaron has had trouble starting strong and often digs himself a hole within the first 5 batters. If he can avoid the first inning struggles, I like the Phillies to come out on top.
The Dodgers are set to start Kenta Maeda, a right hander who struggled early in the season but has started to become a trusted starter in the Dodgers rotation racking up an average of 9 strikeouts in his last 5 appearances. The Phillies have struggled with runners in scoring position but the Dodgers being in town has attracted big crowds in the past and I expect a packed Citizens Bank for night 2 and the Phillies won’t disappoint.
Players I expect to have a big night, Carlos Santana and Nick Williams. Santana came in with a lot of question marks being one of the older players in the clubhouse but he’s proved to be a strong addition to the lineup and should have a strong showing tonight against Maeda. As for Nick Williams, we’ve seen him fair a little bit better against right handers, I think he’ll see the ball a bit better today and should get on base a few times.