The Philadelphia Phillies scored 55 runs during their eight-game winning streak earlier this month.
They were shut out 5-0 by the defending World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday, however. But the result could have been different without a rain delay of 1 hour, 44 minutes.
Phillies manager Joe Girardi has said all season that momentum can be altered by the next game’s starting pitcher.
Since being acquired before the trade deadline from the Texas Rangers, right-hander Kyle Gibson has quickly turned into a fan favorite in Philadelphia.
Gibson, who is 8-3 with a 2.79 ERA this season, will start Wednesday’s home game against the Los Angeles Dodgers. He is 0-2 with a 7.71 ERA in two career starts against the Dodgers.
Gibson has thrived with the playoff atmosphere surrounding the Phillies.
“What more can you ask for?” outfielder Bryce Harper said. “He’s gone out there and absolutely dominated. … It’s been great having him in our clubhouse.”
The Phillies haven’t advanced to the postseason since 2011, and Gibson hopes to help change their fortune.
“That type of energy and atmosphere is hard to dream up and hard to imagine and the impact that has on you,” Gibson said. “It’s met or exceeded every one of my expectations.”
Jean Segura had three of the Phillies’ six hits on Tuesday.
But Girardi intimated that Andrew McCutchen could return from a left knee injury as early as Wednesday.
Rhys Hoskins, however, has landed on the injured list with a groin strain. Hoskins’ absence was noticeable in the opener of this three-game series.
“We just couldn’t come up with a big hit,” Girardi said.
The Dodgers will try for their fourth consecutive victory on Wednesday.
The Dodgers’ acquisition of Trea Turner from the Washington Nationals will loom even larger with Justin Turner (groin) and Mookie Betts (hip) sidelined.
Justin Turner is expected to be out for the remainder of this series while Betts’ status is unclear.
Trea Turner had two hits Tuesday and raised his average to .322.
“I’m just trying to fit in here,” he said. “These guys are unbelievable. You look up and down the lineup, you have All-Stars, MVPs and got guys that have done it in the postseason.”
Turner has had little trouble fitting in.
“To be traded to a great organization and an organization that’s trying to win championships is always a good thing,” he said. “I’m excited for the opportunity to help compete here, help play and help these guys accomplish what all of us want to do, and that’s win.”
The Dodgers will send left-hander David Price (4-1, 3.53) to the mound Wednesday to try and extend their winning streak. Price is 2-1 with a 3.33 ERA in six career appearances (four starts) against the Phillies.
Price allowed two home runs but threw 5 1/3 effective innings in a no-decision in his last start on Friday. He yielded two runs on four hits in the Dodgers’ 4-3 loss to the Los Angeles Angels in 10 innings. Overall, his command was much better.
“I kept my pitch count down, and I could have gone deeper into the game,” Price said.
–Field Level Media