It’s time to start the countdown. The Phillies magic number is now 10 after their sweeping of the worst team in baseball, Washington. The starting pitching all series was ridiculous, going 23 innings, and allowing only one run on 16 hits, 8 walks, and 26 strikeouts. The bull pen was just as good, only needing to pitch four innings, and surrendering only two runs. Brad Lidge even notched a save in Thursday’s game.
Tuesday – Phillies won 5-0: Cliff Lee came in dealing as he notched a complete game shut out, striking out 10 and allowing six hits and a walk. The Phillies got all five of their runs in the first two innings. Carlos Ruiz had two doubles and three RBI’s and Jayson Werth had three hits.
Wednesday – Phillies won 6-1: It was a low scoring, tight pitcher’s duel until Washington decided to yank Livan Hernandez. Versus the third pitcher of the sixth inning and with the bases loaded, Jayson Werth blew the game wide open with a grand slam.
Thursday – Phillies won 4-2: Cole Hamels kept the trend of great pitching going with his eight-inning, one run effort and striking out ten. Hamels even had an RBI single in the sixth inning. Brad Lidge came on for his 30th save, allowing a run.
Cliff Lee: CG, SHO, 6 H, 1 BB, 10 K
Jayson Werth: 6-11, run, homer, 4 RBI’s,
Cole Hamels: 8 IP, 1 R/ER, 5 H, 1 BB, 10 K
Next Series: Philadelphia Phillies (85-60, 43-28 on road) @ Atlanta Braves (78-68, 38-33 at home)
Friday: PHI: Happ (10-4, 2.77), ATL: Hudson, T (1-0, 3.63)
Saturday: PHI: Martinez, P (5-0, 2.87), ATL: Vazquez, J (13-9, 3.01)
Sunday: PHI: Lee, Cl (14-11, 3.00), ATL: Hanson (10-3, 2.65)
Key Game: Friday’s game will be pivitol for both teams. For the Braves, it will be a way to end the Phillies win streak and gain an early advantage in the series. For the Phillies, JA Happ is making his first start since September 2.
Braves lead the season series 9-6 but the Phillies have taken two of the last three. The Phillies are also red hot, winners of five straight and six of their last seven. The Braves are going to want to use the advantage they had on the Phillies all season to gain some ground in the division. This is their last series against the Phillies this year and they want to make it count.
The Braves will be putting up three of their better pitchers on the mound but so will the Phillies. Every game is expected to be low scoring and a pitcher’s duel even though the Phillies do have one of the scariest offenses in the league and that is supported with them being first in runs scored in the NL and tenth in average. The Braves are sixth and fourth in those respective categories. The pitching has drastically improved for the Phillies as they are sixth in ERA while the Braves are third.
This is a huge series for both teams. This is a different Phillies team though. This is a team who knows what it’s like to be the best and they won’t let it up to the Braves. The Braves have nothing to lose so expect a very tough series for them. Phillies win two.