The Phillies (40-28) will be visiting the Cardinals (40-28, 2nd National League Central) for the first time this season as they begin a three games series with the former World Series Champs. The first game of their series will begin tonight at 8:15 pm Eastern (7:15 pm Central) at the new Busch Stadium. The Phillies will send to the mound Kyle Kendrick (5-2, 4.87), who is coming off of a recent no-decision against the Braves on June 7, where he went only five and one third innings, giving up only two earned runs on four hits, in the Phillies’ 6-2 win. Before that, he had won his last two starts, going for a combined total of twelve and two-thirds innings, giving up six earned runs on twelve hits. Lifetime, he is 2-0 against the redbirds, with both victories coming last year. Kendrick will be trying to improve his season record and lower his ERA, while trying to set the tone for the series between the two old rivals. The Cardinals’ starter will be Todd Wellemeyer (7-1, 2.93), who is coming off of a victory over the Nationals on June 5, where he would go six scoreless innings, giving up only five scattered hits, in the Cardinals’ 4-1 win. He has won five of his last seven starts, with the other two starts being no-decisions. He will be planning to get his eighth win of the season, after missing a start because of an inflamed right elbow, while trying to help his team keep place with the red hot Chicago Cubs.
The Phillies will continue their road trip with the series in St. Louis, with a 4-2 record. Although the offense has not scored as many runs as they did at least two weeks ago, it is still a potent threat, and the bats can errupt once again at any time. The starters are still improving, but they need to stop giving up home runs, since it was because of gopher balls given up by Brett Myers, Cole Hamels and Tom Gordon in the first two games against the Marlins that they lost the series, as that was how the fish was able to knock in all of their runs in the series, otherwise the Marlins’ offense didn’t appear to have been very effective. Except for the grand slam that Gordon gave up in the second game of the recent Marlins series, the relief corps is still the league’s best. The Phillies will be going into St. Louis trying to win the series from the Cardinals, especially with the absent of their main star Albert Pujols. They will be trying to end their three cities road trip with a winning record.
The first place Phillies are leading the Marlins by three games, as the fish prepare to meet the American League Tampa Bay Rays for a three games series in Tampa Bay. The third and fourth place Braves and Mets are both trailing the Phillies by seven and a half games. The Braves will be playing a three games series with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in Anaheim, while the Mets will be hosting the Texas Rangers for a weekend series. The Phillies are hoping that those three American League teams will help them by defeating their divisional rivals. After their series in St. Louis, the Phillies will be coming back home to Philadelphia to play a three games series with the World Champions Boston Red Sox.