|6:45 PM PT7:45 PM MT8:45 PM CT9:45 PM ET21:45 ET1:45 GMT9:45 6:45 PM MST8:45 PM EST9:15 PM VEN5:45 UAE (+1)8:45 PM CT, August 8, 2019
Oracle Park, San Francisco, California Attendance: 37,667
Phillies visit Giants with aces headed to hill in Game 1
Philadelphia Phillies at San Francisco Giants
- The Phillies took two of three at home against the Giants last week and have a 3-1-1 series record against the Giants since 2017. However, they have won just two of seven games in San Francisco in that span and were swept in their last visit to San Francisco, managing just one run over the three-game set in June 2018.
- Philadelphia has committed at least one error in each of its last seven games, combining for 10 total errors over that span. The Phillies are 38-20 (.655) this season when playing errorless, second best in the NL behind the Dodgers (.738); when committing at least 1 error, they are 21-35 (.375), fourth worst in the NL.
- San Francisco was swept by the Nationals and has lost six of its last seven games, scoring 18 runs over the seven-game span, including three runs or fewer in five of the six losses. The Giants have been held to three runs or fewer 59 times this season, third-most in MLB; only the Marlins (66) and Tigers (64) have more such games.
- Bryce Harper is hitting .344 with runners on base this season, fifth highest among NL hitters with at least 100 plate appearances. However, he is hitting just .173 with nobody on base - that .171 difference is the largest among all batting title qualifiers this season.
- After posting a 5.79 ERA in his first three home starts, Madison Bumgarner has a 2.61 ERA in 10 home starts since May 1. He has a 2.67 ERA in four starts against the NL East this season, including a nine-inning, one-run outing against the Mets on July 18.
- The Giants are scheduled to start two lefties (Madison Bumgarner, Connor Menez) in this series, while the Phillies have southpaw Drew Smyly slated for Friday's game. The Giants' .224 average against left-handed starters is the lowest in MLB, while the Phillies' .235 average is fifth-lowest in baseball.
Staff aces Aaron Nola and Madison Bumgarner go head-to-head for the first time in their careers when the visiting Philadelphia Phillies and San Francisco Giants open a four-game series on Thursday night.
The clubs open the series separated by 3 1/2 games in the National League wild-card race, with the Phillies (59-55) currently tied with Milwaukee for the second spot, while the Giants (56-59) are looking up from seventh place.
Both of Thursday's starters will take the mound in top form, with each unbeaten in his last eight starts.
Nola (10-2, 3.60 ERA) is coming off a 3-2 win over the Chicago White Sox in which he allowed just one run and three hits in seven innings. He struck out 10. The win ran his record to 4-0 with a 2.03 ERA in his last eight starts.
The 26-year-old has never won at Oracle Park, going 0-1 with a 10.80 ERA in two starts. He's 1-1 overall against the Giants with a 6.46 ERA in three career starts.
Nola will be facing a Giants team that has struggled offensively since sandwiching the All-Star break as one of baseball's hottest hitting clubs.
The Giants scored just four runs in their three straight losses to Washington to open a nine-game homestand. They've totaled just 18 runs during a stretch of six losses in their last seven games.
"We're just not clicking," Giants manager Bruce Bochy observed Wednesday. "You're going to have ruts."
Perhaps the most disappointing aspect of the losses to the Nationals was that the Giants didn't see Stephen Strasburg, Max Scherzer or Patrick Corbin in the series.
Bumgarner (6-7, 3.92) has pitched the Giants to seven wins in his last eight starts, going 3-0 with a 3.19 ERA.
He's faced the Phillies 10 times in his career, going 4-3 with a 3.41 ERA. The left-hander has gotten the better of lefty hitter Bryce Harper in their careers, limiting him to 4-for-17 (.235) with six strikeouts. Harper does have a pair of homers in the head-to-head.
Harper hit his 20th home run of the season in Wednesday's 6-1 loss at Arizona, the Phillies' second straight after winning the series opener on Monday. He finished the series 5-for-14 after making some small changes in his stance.
"I think over the course of his career, that's been one of the things that he does, similar to Cal Ripken Jr.," Phillies manager Gabe Kapler explained of the new look. "Maybe not as extreme and drastic as Cal, but I used to watch Cal Ripken and go, 'Wait a second, he's holding his bat funny,' or, 'He's crouched down more today,' or, 'He's leg-kicking a little bit.' I think Harp has some of that in him, for sure."
The Giants didn't let Harper do much damage when the clubs met last week in Philadelphia, walking him six times in 13 plate appearances.
Harper wound up scoring a run in each of the three games, however, helping the Phillies take two of three.
J.T. Realmuto had a three-run homer, and Rhys Hoskins a two-run shot to provide the key blows in the Philadelphia wins.
--Field Level Media
Updated August 8, 2019