The Phillies entered an ugly, ugly slump in the month of June, and look to be finally out the other end after a solid showing against the Diamondbacks in Arizona earlier this week.
Philly returns home, healthier and a bit wiser ready, to kick off a six-game homestand against the defending World Series Champs (Fri-Sun) and then a trio of games against the only team in the division worse than them the Braves (Mon-Weds).
Three very important starters take the hill for the Phillies against the champs, starting with Jeremy Hellickson — who the Phils home they can flip before the trade deadline — who will be opposed by Kansas City's Ian Kennedy (a 7:05 pm start Friday on CSN).
Aaron Nola's start on Saturday (a rare 5:30 p.m. start) will be important for different reasons. After bursting onto the scene as a potent big league pitcher in his second big league season, he has been awful of late. He's earned the ugly label of being the first Phillies' starter to pitch fewer than four innings in four consecutive starts since 1982. He is 0-3 with a 15.23 ERA in that stretch. Danny Duffy, fresh off a solid eight-inning outing, will be opposing Nola.
In Sunday's series finale, Vince Velasquez will make his second start since landing on the disabled list. He threw five scoreless innings with seven strikeouts against the D'backs. The Sunday game has a 1:35 p.m. first pitch.