After salvaging their series against the Colorado Rockies with a 9-6 win on Wednesday, the Philadelphia Phillies are heading home to begin a three-game set with the Milwaukee Brewers.
Thursday brought a much-needed off-day for Philadelphia. Between that and the offensive spark seen in their series finale against Colorado, this might be just what the Phillies need to get back on track.
Philadelphia sits at 5-8 on the season and are fourth in the NL East. Their weekend opponent Brewers are second in the NL Central at 8-5, only a .5 game back of the 7-3 St. Louis Cardinals.
Milwaukee has won their last four games, although they're just coming off of a three-game sweep of the Pittsburgh Pirates, a less challenging opponent. Luckily for the Phillies, they'll miss facing 2021 NL Cy Young Award winner Corbin Burnes and 2021 All-Star Brandon Woodruff.
Let's take a look at what to expect in the three-game set between the Phillies and the Brew Crew:
Phillies starter: Ranger Suárez (1-0, 5.87 ERA)
Brewers starter: Freddy Peralta (0-1, 11.57 ERA)
Suárez will take the bump for Philadelphia for the third time this season. His last outing against the Miami Marlins was solid, he threw five innings and allowed two runs on six hits, three walks, and struck out four on 78 pitches. He picked up his first win of 2022, while the Phillies won their lone game of the series. Friday will mark the first time in Suárez's career that he faces the Brewers.
After a spectacular 2021 season which earned him an All-Star Game nomination, Freddy Peralta has gotten off to a slow start in 2022. His last start on April 15 saw the right-hander throw just three innings and allow six runs on seven hits against the St. Louis Cardinals. In three career starts against the Phillies, the 25-year-old is 0-2 with a 5.93 ERA in 13.2 innings pitched.
First pitch: Friday, 7:05 p.m. EST
Phillies starter: Zack Wheeler (0-2, 9.39 ERA)
Brewers starter: Adrian Houser (0-2, 2.89 ERA)
Wheeler will look to bounce back from his last disastrous start against the Marlins on April 17. The 2021 NL Cy Young runner-up allowed seven runs on eight hits through just three innings. Last season against the Brewers, Wheeler was near perfect, going 2-0 with 17 strikeouts in 15 innings pitched without allowing a run.
Houser has been productive in two starts thus far in 2022, pitching to a 2.89 ERA with seven strikeouts in 9.1 innings. In his last outing against the Cardinals on April 16, Houser worked up his pitch count to 97, while pitching 5.2 innings of one-run ball. The righty has faced the Phillies four times in his career, but has only made one start. Overall, he's sporting a 2.45 ERA against them in 11 innings pitched.
First pitch: Saturday, 4:05 p.m. EST
Phillies starter: Aaron Nola (1-2, 5.52 ERA)
Brewers starter: Eric Lauer (1-0, 3.48 ERA)
Much like his 2021 season, Nola's 2022 has been off to a peculiarly rocky start. While flashing greatness at times, he's also struggled with the same issues that plagued him last season. In his outing against the Rockies on April 18, Nola pitched 5.1 innings, allowed two runs, a walk, and struck out four. On a shorter leash than his previous start against the New York Mets, he did pitch well. Last season against Milwaukee, the right-hander was 1-1 and posted a 3.27 ERA with 16 strikeouts in 11 innings pitched. They were one of the few teams to which he did not surrender a single home run.
Lauer's 2022 has gotten off to a great start, and in his last outing against the Pirates, he pitched six innings of one-run ball, struck out five and walked one, earning his first win of the season. The lefty has thrown beautifully against Philadelphia in three career starts, posting a 1.42 ERA and striking out 15 in 19 innings pitched.
First pitch: Sunday, 7:08 p.m. EST
Players to watch:
McCutchen will return to Philadelphia for the first time since signing with the Brewers as a free agent in the offseason. He's likely to receive a warm welcome from the home crowd. Serving as Milwaukee's designated hitter, Cutch has slashed .250/.306/.318 through 49 plate appearances this season. He has yet to log a home run in 2022, but having hit 31 at Citizens Bank Park for his career, it's possible that could come this weekend.
After a lackluster start to the season, Schwarber seems to finally be heating up. He collected two home runs in the series against the Rockies, including one that was hit 468 ft. In 76 career games facing the Brewers, Schwarber's hit 17 dingers and drove in 33 runs across 270 plate appearances.
Bohm has had a miraculous start to 2022, hitting .476/.483/.714 in 11 games thus far, and picked up his first home run of the season on Wednesday. Of the 12 home runs in Bohm's young career, one of them came against the Brewers in 2021. While his bat is hot, expect a big series from the 25-year-old.
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