The Phillies (43-37) continue their nine games, three cities, road trip, with a weekend interleague play series against the Texas Rangers (40-40, 3rd American League West) in Arlington, Texas. The first game of the series will be played at Rangers Park in Arlington, and will begin at 8:05 pm Eastern (7:05 pm Central). The Phillies’ starter for tonight’s game will be Brett Myers (3-9, 5.51), who has just come off a lost against the Angels on June 21, where he would pitch six innings, giving up four earned on six hits, in the Phillies’ 6-2 lost. Myers has, along with several bad starts, been hurt mainly by the long balls this year, of which he has so far given up twenty-three. He has lost three of his last four starts, while the fourth one was also lost by the Phillies, in which he has been tagged for eight four-baggers in the last three. If he is going to win another game, he is going to have to not just throw more non-fastballs, he’ll need to stop throwing pitches into the opposing batters’ hit zone to avoid giving up any more gopher balls. He will be trying to get his fourth win of the year, while hoping that it won’t end up being another fiasco. The Rangers will oppose him with Kason Gabbard (2-3, 4.96), who is coming off a win against the Nationals on June 21, where he would pitch five and a third innings, giving up three earned runs on six hits, in the Rangers’ 13-3 rout. He will be trying to even his record as he face the Phillies for the first time in his career.
The Phillies’ offense, which has now lost five straight series will now be facing an American League team that can not be considered an elite ball club. The players should thus take this opportunity to try and be more patient at the plate, while staying aggressive on the base paths once they get on, to help shake things up. The players need to stop being a ballclub that’ll swing at anything that is thrown at them, as well as stop swinging at the first balls that are thrown at them during their individual at bats (That especially means you, Jimmy.). And they’ll need to be especially patient when they have men in scoring position. It would help the club if they can get up to batter’s box with a runner on either second or third and not end up either popping up or striking out. They’d been doing too much of that lately, and quite frankly, it needs to stop before it can get any worst. They should thanks their lucky stars that the rest of the division is at the moment playing just as lousy as they are, but they will need to get their present problems sorted out before they begin their three games series in Atlanta next Tuesday, as I am sure that the Braves will be wanting to get even with the Phils for that earlier sweep at their home ball park.
Speaking of the National League East, the Phillies presently have a two games lead over the Marlins, who will be facing the Diamondbacks for a three games set in Miami. The Mets trail them by three and a half games, as they take the subway for a four games series with the Yankees, including a day/night doubleheader today that will be played at both stadiums, the first of which has the Mets trailing the Bronx Bombers. The Braves trail the Phillies by four games, as they go to Toronto, Canada, to start a three games series with the Blue Jays. The Phillies hope that they can put some distance between themselves and the rest of the East before they once again play against fellow National League teams.
Edit: The Mets are now trailing the Phillies by three games as they defeat the Yankees at Yankee Stadium for the first half of a double header.