TTB

Blogging about the 5x NL East Champion Phillies

Series Preview: at Los Angeles Dodgers

PHI: 74-40, 1st in NL East; LAD: 52-61, 4th in NL West

When: August 8-10
Where: Dodger Stadium (LA, CA)

Probable Pitchers
Monday: Roy Halladay (14-4, 2.55) vs Hiroki Kuroda (7-13, 2.96)
Tuesday: Cliff Lee (11-7, 2.96) vs Ted Lilly (7-11, 4.86)
Wednesday: Vance Worley (8-1, 2.35) vs Chad Billingsly (10-9, 4.17)

Broadcast Info
Monday, 10:10, CSN
Tuesday, 10:10, CSN
Wednesday, 3:10, CSN
All Games on 1210 AM

Player to Watch – Matt Kemp: Willie Mays, eat your heart out. Kemp is enjoying a season like the many the Say Key Kid did during his storied career. Kemp is hitting .316 with 26 homers and 84 RBIs along with a .393 OBP and .577 slugging (.970 OPS) this season.

The only problem with his season is another high strikeout total. Kemp is an incredible hitter though he has struck out a lot. But his track record against Phillies starters isn’t too promising. He’s 1-f0r-10 with five strikeouts against Cliff Lee and 1-for-6 with three strikeouts against Roy Halladay. He has never faced Vance Worley.

Series Overview: The Phillies are back to business after seeing their nine-game winning streak snapped yesterday. The two teams met up back in June with the Phils taking two-of-three.

LA sits about 10 games behind the Giants but don’t have the team to climb out of this hole in time. The Phils are looking to expand on their already runaway season with another series win.

Other than Kemp, the only other Dodgers hitting well all season is Andre Ethier. Ethier is hitting .306 with 10 homers and 51 RBIs. Kemp and Etheir are 1 and 2 in every key offensive stat for the Dodgers.

Hunter Pence has been red hot for the Phils since joining the team before the deadline. In his nine games with the Phils (who are 8-1 with him on the team), Pence is hitting .342 (13-for-38) with three doubles, two homers and seven RBIs. He’s scored five times.

Pitching shouldn’t be a problem. Kuroda has the ability to steal one from the Phillies if his offense can score more than three runs off of Roy Halladay. Kuroda has dominated the Phils in his five starts, going 2-1 with a 0.84 ERA. Halladay has been strong against the Dodgers in his short career against them. He’s 3-1 with a 2.03 ERA in four starts. But after Kuroda, the Phils are favored heavily in the final two match-ups of the series.

This is a helpful series for the Phils as well. With a struggling Atlanta Braves playing a three-game set against the Florida Marlins, the Phils have a chance to maintain the 8.5 game lead they have on the Braves and move closer to an early division win.

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