The Philadelphia Phillies and Arizona Diamondbacks are two of the best teams in the National League and currently they are in the midst of a three-game series which could have playoff implications. The second game of the series is scheduled for 9:40 PM ET today.
Both the Phillies and Diamondbacks are embroiled in close divisional races, the winners of which will be playoff bound whereas the losers could find themselves missing the postseason entirely. The Phillies lead the Atlanta Braves by 0.5 games for the NL East crown. The Diamondbacks are up one game over the Los Angeles Dodgers for top spot in the NL West. These will be two great races to watch as the season winds down in just over a month and a half. Every game will be important, especially ones against top notch teams such as the series the Phillies and Diamondbacks are involved in.
Game 1 Recap
Given both teams’ propensity for late game heroics, it is no surprise that Game 1 wasn’t settled after the first nine innings.
Philadelphia sent Jake Arrieta to the mound against Zack Godley for the Diamondbacks. Both pitchers pitched exceptionally well and engaged in a duel for the first seven innings. Entering the top of the 8th inning, the two pitchers had combined to give up just four hits and zero runs. In the top half of the inning, the Phillies struck first, chasing Godley from the game after the pitcher had recorded just one out. Philadelphia recorded three hits in the inning including a triple by Odubel Herrera which led to the game’s first run. The second came shortly after as Maikel Franco got a hit to score Herrera.
Arrieta pitched through the eighth, putting on a dazzling performance that was the best of his season. He was relieved by Seranthony Dominguez, who entered the game with 12 saves and the primary job of being the team’s closer. It was then that the Diamondbacks bats woke up. Dominguez was tagged for three hits, two runs and a home run, allowing Arizona to tie the game.
The teams continued to battle with Arizona having several chances to win in the first few extra innings. The Diamondbacks left nine runners stranded over the 10, 11 and 12th innings, with the team having bases loaded on more than one occasion. The game finally ended early into Tuesday morning, as the Diamondbacks defeated the Phillies thanks to a home run off the bat of David Peralta.
Game 2 Preview: (PHI) Nick Pivetta vs (ARI) Zack Greinke
The Phillies and Diamondbacks will be back at it again tonight and it will be up to Nick Pivetta and Zack Greinke to get their teams the Game 2 victory. Unfortunately for both pitchers, they will be tasked with doing the heavy lifting and working with a bullpen that will likely have been taxed from the marathon the night before.
For Pivetta, its been an up-and-down season. The 25-year-old sophomore has a 4.75 ERA on the season along with 141 strikeouts and a 6-9 record. Over his first 11 starts, Pivetta was a strong point in a solid Phillies rotation. He kept the team in games allowing Philadelphia to win his first five starts, all but one of which Pivetta allowed more than three earned runs. Pivetta pitched well through the month of May as well, giving up more than two earned runs just once while having two starts in which he shut out his opponents. Over the season’s first two full months, Pivetta recorded ERAs of just 2.79 and 3.24 respectively. June and July brought the struggles however as in Pivetta’s last 11 starts, he has a 6.42 ERA.
On the season, Pivetta has pitched better at home than on the road and better in day games than at night. None of this will work to his benefit however as he’ll be pitching a night game on the road for his 23rd start of the season.
Pivetta’s other challenge will be the imposing 6’2 righty he’ll be pitching against in 14-year MLB veteran Zack Greinke.
Long considered one of the best pitchers in the game today, Greinke is enjoying another plus-season. On the year, the 34-year-old has a 2.96 ERA with 148 strikeouts and a 12-6 record. The Diamondbacks have won 14 of his 23 starts as well. The opposite to Pivetta, Greinke is a better pitcher in the confines of Arizona’s home park, boasting a stellar 2.44 ERA. Greinke has gotten crisper as the season has gone on, going 6-1 with a minuscule 1.37 ERA in his last eight starts.
Our Preview’s Phillies at Diamondbacks Game 2 Predictions & Picks Verdict
With the Diamondbacks winning Game 1, they took the lead over the Dodgers in the NL West, a spot they will no doubt love to maintain. The Philles will look to get back to their winning ways in order to keep the Braves at bay. They will have a tough task of it however going against Greinke. That is not to say the Phillies offense can’t do it but the team runs hot and cold as to when it decides to hit, often times having long stretches of good hitting followed by equally long stretches of bad. Historically, Greinke has been one of those pitchers that seems to have Philadlephia’s number.
Taking everything int account, these are this preview’s Philadelphia Phillies vs Arizona Diamondbacks predictions for today’s Game 2 MLB clash: