Giants face tough Phillies rotation, starting with Aaron Nola

May 3, 2024, 7:00 AM

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - MAY 02: Jung Hoo Lee #51 of the San Francisco Giants high-fives Matt Chapma...

(Photo by Brian Fluharty/Getty Images)

(Photo by Brian Fluharty/Getty Images)

The San Francisco Giants will get their first look at the Phillies’ dominant rotation this weekend when the teams open a four-game series in Philadelphia on Friday.

The Phillies have their best 32-game record (21-11) since 2011, when they won a franchise-high 102 games, and they own a 13-3 mark in their past 16 games.

For much of that, the Phillies can thank their rotation, which has a collective 2.50 ERA, lowest in the National League, and second to the Boston Red Sox (2.03) in the major leagues.

Giants vs. Phillies Preview

The Phillies beat the Los Angeles Angels 2-1 in Anaheim, Calif., on Wednesday, even though ace Zack Wheeler needed 106 pitches over five innings to earn the win. Philadelphia won two of three in the series, giving the team six wins in the past seven contests.

“They all have so many weapons that are so good that you can really ‘pitch,'” Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto said of the club’s starting pitchers. “I know it’s an older term, but literally, it’s ‘pitching.’ It’s the art of pitching, as it was meant to be.”

Philadelphia’s rotation is good enough that manager Rob Thomson could afford to move right-hander Spencer Turnbull — 2-0 with a 1.67 ERA over six starts — to the bullpen.

The move was made so that the Phillies could go with a five-man rotation and potentially save work for the bullpen. But it also set up the possibility that Thomson could use Turnbull as a “piggyback” starter, combined with another starter such as left-hander Cristopher Sanchez.

For the Giants, at least outfielder Mike Yastrzemski will be coming back from Boston with a treasured memory.

The Giants beat the Red Sox 3-1 on Thursday to prevent a three-game sweep, and Yastrzemski homered for the second time in his career at Fenway Park — the venue where his grandfather, Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski, hit 237 homers.

Yastrzemski had the chance to catch up with his grandfather before the game.

“I got to enjoy it now more than ever,” he said. “I actually got to enjoy it while I was here rather than reflecting on it and being like, ‘Man, that was really cool.'”

It also helps that Yastrzemski is heating up after striking out 11 times while going 1-for-20 to open the season. He is hitting .400 (10-for-25) with three home runs and eight RBIs over the past 10 games.

“He’s hanging in there,” Giants manager Bob Melvin said. “He’s not pulling off, he’s not giving any bad swings anymore. He’s making pitchers work. He’s just comfortable now.”

In the series opener, the Giants’ Jordan Hicks (2-0, 1.59 ERA) will oppose the Phillies’ Aaron Nola (4-1, 3.20) in a duel of right-handers.

It will be Hicks’ first career start against the Phillies. In his sixth season, Hicks is 3-0 with a 2.25 ERA in 12 career relief outings against Philadelphia.

Nola threw eight innings in each of his past two starts, notching wins against the Chicago White Sox on April 21 and the San Diego Padres five days later. He notched 17 strikeouts and two walks over those two starts.

The 10-year veteran has made seven career starts against the Giants, going 3-2 record and 6.81 ERA.

–Field Level Media

Upcoming schedule for the San Francisco Giants

  • Friday, May 3rd-Monday, May 6th – @ Philadelphia Phillies
  • Tuesday, May 7th-Thursday, May 9th – @ Colorado Rockies
  • Friday, May 10th-Sunday, May 12th – vs. Cincinnati Reds
  • Monday, May 13th-Wednesday, May 15th – vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
  • Friday, May 17th-Sunday, May 19th – vs. Colorado Rockies

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