It’s hard to overstate the importance of the next three days for the Phillies. This three-game Atlanta game could put the Phils in a position to potentially win the NL East and reach the playoffs for the first time in a decade. On the other hand, a stumble in Atlanta almost ensures another bitter end to a season.
The Phillies enter Game 1 of the 2-1 / 2-game series behind the Braves with six games to go.
“We have to win a game on Tuesday,” Phillies manager Joe Girardi said. “This is how it should be looked at.”
Zack Wheeler will start the series opener for the Phils, and he’s been outstanding against Atlanta in his career since joining Philly, throwing to a 1.60 ERA in 39 1/3 innings. The Braves counter with veteran Charlie Morton (13-6, 3.63); he’s allowed three points or less in three of four outings against Philadelphia so far this year.
“I think we’re confident for Atlanta,” Bryce Harper said Sunday after the Phils’ 6-0 loss to the Pirates. “We have to get down there, we have to do our job, we have to be ready from Pitch 1, get 27 outs per game, and we have to be really good with those 27 outs.”
Harper is a major screenplay in this series. He is posting exceptional numbers and is an MVP contender, hitting 0.382 last month with ten home runs and 28 RBIs.
The Phillies reinstated RHP Connor Brogdon from the 10-day IL and recalled INF Alec Bohm from Lehigh Valley (AAA). RHP RamÃ³n Rosso and INF Luke Williams have been optioned to LV.