Phillies Gain Ground

The Phightin’s came up with a huge series win on Atlanta tonight, expanding their division lead to eight games on both the Braves and Fish. This series showed how human Cliff Lee can be and how effective Pedro Martinez and Jamie Moyer are in the same game. This gives the Phillies more depth in the bull pen as the “two old goats” could see time there in the playoffs.

Friday – Phillies won 4-2: Ryan Howard had two homers and drove in all four runs. It was another rain delayed game so the Pedro-Moyer connections pitched 6.1 innings allowing a run on five hits and striking out six. Moyer earned the win and Brad Lidge notched his 26th save.

Saturday – Braves won 9-1: Lee came back down to earth as he got rocked by Atlanta for six runs on three long balls. He lasted five innings, striking out five. Chase Utley hit a homer in the first and that was it for the scoring.

Sunday – Phillies won 3-2: Big Joe Blanton got some run support in the seventh off of Carlos Ruiz’s two run double. Blanton tossed seven innings, allowing a run on three hits and four walks, striking out seven. Brad Lidge pitched a 1-2-3- ninth for his 27th save.

Series MVP’s:
Ryan Howard: 6-11, 2 R, 2B, 2 HR, 3 RBI
Chase Utley: 5-12, 3 R, 2 HR, 2 RBI
Brad Lidge: 2 IP, 2 K, 2 Saves (this is impressive the way he’s played all year)

Next Series: San Francisco Giants (72-59, 28-38) @ Philadelphia Phillies (75-53, 34-30 at home)

Pitching Probables:
Tuesday: SF: Sanchez, J (6-10, 4.27), PHI: Hamels (7-8, 4.52)
Wednesday: SF: Lincecum (13-4, 2.33), PHI: Happ (10-3, 2.63)
Thursday: SF: Zito (9-11, 3.94), PHI: Martinez, P (2-0, 4.50)

Key Game: Wednesday’s game is going to feature NL Rookie of the Year candidate JA Happ versus last year’s NL Cy Young winner and candidate for this year, Tim Lincecum. Both pitchers have been tops on their teams and are in the top five in ERA in the NL. Lincecum pitched eight scoreless as the Giants shut out the Phillies on August 1. Happ hasn’t face San Fran this year.

The Giants lead the series 3-1 after dominance in their own park. Well the Giants aren’t that hot on the road and the Phillies have been good in their own park as of late. This should be a very interesting series as the Giants are in a heated Wild Card race with the Rockies.

The Giants are not an offensive powerhouse like the Phillies. They’re ninth in the NL in average and 13th in runs scored. They are also 16th in homers. The Phillies are first in runs scored and homers and 11th in average. Pitching is the other way around as the Giants are second in ERA while the Phillies are eighth.

The Phillies are very capable of winning this series as they only have to face Lincecum and not Matt Cain as well. If the bats can wake up a bit, they should be able to win this series to keep pace in the NL east. Phillies will take two this series.

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