Phillies-Giants: What you need to know

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Phillies-Giants: What you need to know

Phillies (5-5) at San Francisco Giants (4-6)10:15 p.m. on TCN

The Phillies won the first leg of a 10-game road trip by beating the Giants, 5-2, on Monday night as Roy Halladay outdueled Tim Lincecum. Get ready for the middle game of a three-game set in San Francisco with our scouting report.

Starting Pitchers
Joe Blanton (1-1, 2.35 ERA) makes his second start of the season after previously losing an outing in relief. Blanton cruised last Thursday, allowing one run on three hits to the Marlins over seven innings. Blantons fastball was sharp against Miami, averaging 90.4 miles per hour, a full mile per hour more than his career average.

For the Giants, Madison Bumgarner makes his third start coming off of a terrific outing at Coors Field. The 25-year-old lefty, who signed a six-year extension Monday, struggled in his first start in Arizona, allowing nine baserunners, two homers and four runs over just four innings. Bumgarner bounced back to limit the Rockies to one run over 7 13 last Thursday.

Previous games
The Phillies scored four runs in the first inning Monday to defeat Lincecum and win their fourth game in the last five meetings at AT&T Park. Prior to that, the Phils had gone 3-7 in their last 10 in San Fran.

Halladay didnt have his best stuff he walked three batters for only the fifth time in 68 starts with the Phillies but still lasted eight innings to pick up his third win. Jonathan Papelbon faced four batters in the ninth to pick up his third save in as many chances.
Head-to-head
The Phillies are 11-10 in 21 regular-season meetings with the Giants since the start of 2009. Last year, the Phils won the season series for the first time since 2006.

Blanton has faced the Giants twice as a member of the Phillies, once in 2009 and once in 2010. He allowed two runs over seven innings in the first start, and two runs over 6 13 in the second. Blanton walked none and struck out 12 over those 13 13 innings.

The pitcher Giants fans refer to as MadBum has made just one regular-season start against the Phils. Bumgarner struck out nine Phillies over eight innings last August, but the two second-inning runs he allowed were the difference as the Giants ran into the Cliff Lee August buzzsaw. Lee shut San Fran out and went 5-0 with a 0.45 ERA in the month. (...And it wasn't even his best month of the season.)

Angel Pagan, who figures to lead off Tuesday night, is 6 for 12 off Blanton with two home runs.

Minus Ryan Howard, the Phillies are 7 for 24 (.292) off Bumgarner. Hunter Pence and John Mayberry hit back-to-back solo home runs off Bumgarner last season at spacious, windy AT&T Park.

Whos hot
Shane Victorino went 2 for 4 on Monday to extend his hitting streak to nine games. Victorino, one of four Phillies batting .300 or higher, has a .316 clip on the season.

Laynce Nix almost certainly wont start Tuesday, as his struggles against lefties are Greg Dobbsian, but he is 2 for his last 5 with a pair of doubles to drive in three runs.

Whos not
The answer is still Placido Polanco, who went 1 for 4 on Monday with a first-inning double that should have been a routine flyout. Polanco continues to make weak contact only five of his 30 balls put into play have been line drives.

Storylines
A win would put the Phillies above .500 for the first time since the season-opener. It would also clinch their second straight series win in San Francisco.

A righty-heavy lineup expect to see John Mayberry in left field and Ty Wigginton at first base could find success against Bumgarner. Right-handers have hit .271 with a .716 OPS off Bumgarner in his career. Lefties are at .236 with a .614 OPS.

Pay close attention to Blantons fastball. It was by far his best pitch against the Marlins, saving 1.7 runs in the game according to Fangraphs. A key in that start was not overusing the fastball early in the count. Blanton threw it on the first pitch of an at-bat just 52 percent of the time.

Sound off
Which Phillie would you most like to see have a productive game at the plate Tuesday night?

E-mail Corey Seidman at cseidman@comcastsportsnet.com

Today's Lineup: Daniel Nava, Brock Stassi, Andrew Knapp all get starts

Today's Lineup: Daniel Nava, Brock Stassi, Andrew Knapp all get starts

Just mere hours after topping the Braves in dramatic fashion in the 10th inning, the Phillies will have a much different lineup take the field Sunday afternoon as they look for the sweep of Atlanta (see Sunday's game notes).

Daniel Nava, Brock Stassi and Andrew Knapp will all start Sunday's series finale.

Nava will bat fifth start in left field for the ailing Howie Kendrick, who's missed the last week with an oblique issue. Nava's sample size at the plate so far this season is small, but he's still 8 for 21 (.381 batting average) with two homers, two doubles and 7 RBI. So it makes sense that manager Pete Mackanin wants to get Nava some more at-bats.

Stassi bats sixth and gets the nod at first in place of Tommy Joseph, who had that odd sequence of events late in Saturday's win. First, Joseph had an ugly at-bat with the game tied in the ninth inning. Then in the top of the 10th, he caught a popped-up bunt and suddenly made an ill-advised throw to an empty third base, helping the Braves plate the go-ahead run. So today could be a day just to clear Joseph's head.

Both Nava and Stassi are left-handed bats against Braves righty starter Mike Foltynewicz.

Knapp will give Cameron Rupp the day-game-after-night-game breather behind the plate Sunday.

One note on Atlanta's lineup: Brandon Phillips, who drilled the game-tying homer off Edubray Ramos in the top of the ninth on Saturday, has been moved up to the second spot in the order for Sunday's finale.

Both teams' lineups can be found below:

Phillies
1. Cesar Hernandez 2B
2. Aaron Altherr RF
3. Odubel Herrera CF
4. Maikel Franco 3B
5. Daniel Nava LF
6. Brock Stassi 1B
7. Freddy Galvis SS
8. Andrew Knapp C
9. Zach Eflin SP

Braves
1. Ender Inciarte CF
2. Brandon Phillips 2B
3. Freddie Freeman 1B
4. Matt Kemp LF
5. Nick Markakis RF
6. Kurt Suzuki C
7. Jace Peterson 3B
8. Dansby Swanson SS
9. Mike Foltynewicz SP

Phillies-Braves 5 things: Phils aim for first sweep of the season

Phillies-Braves 5 things: Phils aim for first sweep of the season

Phillies (8-9) vs. Braves (6-11)
1:35 p.m. on CSN; streaming live on CSNPhilly.com and the NBC Sports App

The Phillies and Braves played quite the game Saturday night. 

The teams went back and forth in the final two innings, culminating in Maikel Franco's walk-off single. What do they have in store for Sunday? Zach Eflin will take the hill for the Phillies opposite Mike Foltynewicz, a matchup of developing right-handers in their 20s.

Here are five things to know for Sunday's game.

1. Eflin back to form
Promoted to the majors at the beginning of the week, Eflin looked back to form in his first MLB start of 2017.

Eflin had the unfortunate problem of needing to rehab two knee surgeries this offseason, but clearly has not lost much in terms of his stuff. He looked a lot like the Eflin who produced five quality starts in a stretch of six appearances last summer, not the one who gave up 20 runs in his last 13 innings.

While he threw just five innings against the Mets, he limited New York to just two runs while working around six baserunners. Both runs came in the first inning and he retired 13 of his last 15 batters faced. 

The 23-year-old righty lives off his low-90s fastball and sinker while mixing in a slider and curveball. He was sinker heavy in his first start of 2017 and it was effective at Citi Field.

One of his best starts last season came against the Braves at Citizens Bank Park. Eflin needed just 92 pitches to throw a six-hit complete game with just one earned run allowed, a solo homer by Ender Inciarte. He didn't walk any Braves batters and struck out six in a quick game (2:08 in duration). Atlanta slugger Freddie Freeman went 0 for 3 with a strikeout and no batter got more than one hit.

2. Foltynewicz vs. the Phils
Foltynewicz hasn't had an ideal start to the season. His first start came in inclement weather vs. the Pirates, then he had to come out of the bullpen with a series of off days, which allowed the Braves to skip their fifth starter.

His most recent appearance came back in the rotation on Tuesday and he held his own against the Nationals, who were without a few key veterans but still had Max Scherzer on the hill. Foltynewicz held the Nats the just two runs over seven innings, scattering nine baserunners while striking out three batters. He walked four batters and has a paltry 8/7 K-BB ratio this year. 

In his three seasons with the Braves, the 25-year-old righty has a sub-optimal 4.85 ERA over 222 2/3 innings. However, his ERA got much better from 2015 to 16 (5.71 to 4.31) and his 4.26 ERA thus far in 2017 isn't half bad. 

Foltynewicz lives off his mid-90s fastball that has touched 97 this season. He mixes in a slider that draws a lot of groundballs, a sinker and a changeup. His velocity is down a little this season, which could explain his poor strikeout rate.

Folynewicz is 2-1 in four appearances against the Phillies in his career but has a 6.00 ERA, allowing five homers and 12 runs in 18 innings. Franco and Tommy Joseph each have one of those home runs while Odubel Herrera has three hits off the right-hander.

3. Ryan Howard: Braves minor leaguer
Believe it or not, Ryan Howard could be playing for another NL East team this year. The former Phillies slugger made his debut Saturday night for the Gwinnett Braves, Atlanta's Triple-A affiliate. 

Howard had himself quite a night, going 2 for 2 with two singles, an RBI, a hit-by-pitch and a walk, which was intentional. For someone signed so recently to a minor-league pact, it was an encouraging showing, although it's unlikely he'll be called up anytime soon.

There are two major obstacles to Howard making it back to the show with the Braves. The first is Freddie Freeman. With Freeman, the Braves already have a lefty slugger at first base for the foreseeable future. The other issue is Howard isn't on the Braves' 40-man roster. Atlanta has little incentive to add Howard to its 40-man because they're in full rebuild mode and need to prioritize their prospects.

Still, there may be something left in the tank for Howard. He still hit 20 home runs last season and was quite effective in the second half, particularly as a platoon bat. Even if the Braves ultimately don't need Howard, his opportunity in Gwinnett is a chance to audition for other teams as well. Veterans on minor-league deals often have opt-outs or could be granted their release if another team shows interest. 

If you're curious, Howard doesn't play Lehigh Valley, the Phillies' Triple-A affiliate, until July 17-19 and doesn't play in Lehigh Valley until a week later.

4. Players to watch
Phillies: Freddy Galvis struck out twice on Saturday, but he also extended his hitting streak to six games with a double. It was just his second extra-base hit since April 7.

Braves: Freddie Freeman has raised his average to .400 on the season. His .400/.507/.850 batting line won't last, but he looks to have brought his game to another level this year.

5. This and that
• The Phillies are on a three-game winning streak, including two straight over the Braves. Despite finishing ahead of Atlanta in the standings in 2016, the Phillies lost their last seven games vs. the Braves last season.

• The Phils have won two extra-inning games in the last five days. They haven't done that since April 17 and 20 of last season.

• Aaron Altherr has a six-game hitting streak going and has raised his average to .379. He has doubled in consecutive games and has two hits in three straight games. For good measure, he's added stolen bases in two of Phillies' last three games.