PHI: 9-10, 4th in NL East; CHC: 6-13, 6th in NL Central
When: April 27-30
Where: Citizens Bank Park (Philadelphia, PA)
Friday: Roy Halladay (3-1, 1.50) vs Paul Maholm (1-2, 8.36)
Saturday: Joe Blanton (1-3, 4.34) vs Randy Wells (0-0, 3.60)
Sunday: Kyle Kendrick (0-1, 9.39) vs Matt Garza (0-1, 3.38)
Monday: Vance Worley (2-1, 2.16) vs Jeff Samardzija (2-1, 4.13)
Friday, 7:05, CSN
Saturday, 7:05, TCN
Sunday, 1:35, PHL 17
Monday, 7:05, CSN
All Games on 94.1 FM
Cubs SS Starlin Castro. (Photo by Brian Kersey/Getty Images)
Player to Watch – SS Starlin Castro (.333, 6 XBH, 9 RBI): Castro is one of the most exciting young players in all of baseball. A pure hitter who is on base a ton, Castro is rising as a star in the MLB. He’s hitting a cool .333 to start the year with four doubles and two triples. Don’t expect him to go yard but he can run the bases like a demon if and when he gets on.
Series Overview: This could be another good series for the Phillies, who may have finally found their stroke at the plate. The offense has failed to score all season long but they have cranked out 20 runs in the last 19 innings played, riding a two-game winning streak and hoping to compile their first three-game streak of the season.
Chicago is not a very good team overall and it shows statistically. They are 25th in hitting and 24th in pitching, two areas the Phillies should really be able to feast on in this four-game series.
The two dark-days for the Phillies could be Saturday and Sunday though. Joe Blanton and Kyle Kendrick (pitching in place of Cliff Lee) were both shelled in their last outings. If they don’t churn out at least a quality start, the offense is going to have to pick them up.
Hitting leaders for the Cubs include Castro (.333/.358/.440) and the offensive surge of Bryan LaHair. LaHair is hitting a team-high .364 with four homers and 11 RBIs, also team highs.
For Philadelphia, Juan Pierre has shot his average up to .339 and his OBP it .361, making him a mainstay at the lead off spot playing left field. (Any playing time John Mayberry will get will be at first base for now.)
The Phillies aren’t a power-hitting team but Shane Victorino is leading them with four homers. Hunter Pence is one of five Phillies leading with five extra base hits and he leads the team with 11 RBIs.