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Instant Replay: Rangers 8, Phillies 4

May 18th, 2017 at 5:22 PM
Aggregated By Sports Media 101

Phillies (14-23) at Rangers (21-20)
2:05 p.m. on CSN; streaming live on and the NBC Sports App

The Phillies lost their 14th game in the last 17 tries Wednesday night, falling, 9-3, to the Rangers in Texas. Zach Eflin was roughed up for seven runs in one of the worst starts of his young career and the Phillies’ offense was silent for most of the evening (see story).

On Thursday afternoon, the Phils will send out rookie Nick Pivetta in an attempt to avoid a three-game sweep while Martin Perez will take the hill for Texas.

Here are five things to know for the series finale.

1. No break for Pivetta
Pivetta will make his fourth MLB start Thursday and he’s yet to receive an easy assignment. His first game came at Dodger Stadium and his last two starts were against the red-hot Washington Nationals. 

As dessert for that main entree, Pivetta faces the Rangers, his fourth straight opponent that competed in the 2016 postseason. It’s been a rude entry to the league and Thursday is likely his final big-league start for a little while: Aaron Nola threw 6 1/3 in his last rehab start and is ready to rejoin the rotation Sunday.

Pivetta threw four good innings in his last start. Unfortunately, he threw 4 2/3 innings and what transpired in the fifth inning was enough to turn it into a forgettable outing. He blew a 4-0 lead over the course of four batters with a runner on second with two outs, allowing a home run, consecutive two-out walks and a game-tying double to the red-hot Ryan Zimmerman.

On one hand, Pivetta was torched by the top four hitters in the National League’s best offense. That’s not necessarily something of which to be ashamed. But the walks are troubling and his penchant for long balls (five in 14 2/3 innings) isn’t ideal. His WHIP of 1.909 doesn’t look great either, nor does his 6.14 ERA.

But still, he’s shown something in these early starts. The way he rebounded against the Dodgers after a tough first inning. How he shut down the Nats for those first four innings. Acquired for Jonathan Papelbon, …

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Tags: Joely Rodriguez, Nick Pivetta, Philadelphia Phillies, Phillies, Phillies-Rangers, Texas Rangers

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