Diamondbacks try to stay perfect vs. Phillies this season

MLB

If the Philadelphia Phillies ultimately don’t qualify for the playoffs, they’ll surely point to four losses against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The Phillies fell 8-7 to the National League-worst Diamondbacks Thursday.

Philadelphia will look to avoid a fifth consecutive defeat to Arizona when the teams meet in the second game of a four-game series on Friday.

Rhys Hoskins was placed on the injured list Thursday and will miss the rest of the season with a tear in his abdomen. Until the Phillies scored five times in the ninth inning, they looked flat without Hoskins.

“It’s frustrating. It’s upsetting,” Hoskins said. “You want to be out there with your team, especially at this time of the year. There’s been a lot of effort by a lot of people the last couple of weeks to make sure that was an option and I’m very appreciative of that. It just didn’t go as planned. It stinks. It really stinks. But at least by getting the surgery now, I will have a full offseason to prepare.”

The Phillies will hope to avoid a fourth straight loss overall on Friday with 35 games left.

“Obviously, we’ve got to pick it up,” Zack Wheeler said. “We had a good spell. We had a little bad spell. We’ve been talking about consistency the whole year. We just need to find that, especially down this last little stretch right here. It’s big, obviously. We know that. You guys know that. Everybody knows that. We just need to play some good baseball.”

The Phillies will send Aaron Nola (7-7, 4.33 ERA) to the mound. Nola is 1-1 with a 7.36 ERA in two career starts against the Diamondbacks.

Arizona, which has 85 losses, will suddenly be searching for its third consecutive victory on Friday.

In Thursday’s win, the Diamondbacks ripped 15 hits with a career-high four by Christian Walker. Carson Kelly and Nick Ahmed each hit a two-run home run.

The Diamondbacks will look to go 5-0 against the Phillies this season when they start Taylor Widener.

Widener (2-1, 4.34 ERA) is 0-0 with a 1.80 ERA in his career against the Phillies, which occurred in a five-inning performance this season. Widener allowed two hits and one run.

Widener has struggled a bit with diminished velocity in recent starts after a non-COVID illness.

“I feel like I can’t reach back and let it go,” Widener said. “Normally, I get into a situation where I can let it go and overpower some guys. I feel like I haven’t been able to do that as much because my energy has been down a little bit.”

But Widener also believes that overcoming adversity will make him stronger.

“Honestly, I feel like it’s going to be good because it’s teaching me to pitch better,” Widener said. “I’m going to take what I have and keep going.”

The Diamondbacks have been going strong against the Phillies, and Widener will be attempting to maintain this positive momentum in an otherwise difficult season.

“What we look for from our starting pitchers — the damage control, not giving up those scratch runs and making pitches when your back is against the wall,” Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said.

–Field Level Media

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