The Phillies (48-42) will start a three games series with the Cardinals (50-40, 2nd National League Central) at Citizens Bank Park. The first game of the series will be played tonight, beginning at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies will send to the mound their ace, Cole Hamels (9-5, 3.22), who has won his last start against the Braves on July 3, just missing his third complete game shut out. Hamels would instead pitch eight and two-thirds innings, as he gives up only one earned run on five scattered hits, in the Phillies’ 4-1 win. He has won his last two starts, giving up five earned runs on eleven hits as he pitched a combined total of fifteen and two-thirds innings. He will be gunning for his tenth win of the season, while hoping to end the Phillies’ present slide, as well as trying to give a tired, presently depleted bullpen a well needed rest. The Cardinals will counter with Joel Pineiro (2-4, 4.52), who is coming off a no-decision against the Mets on July 2, where he went five innings, giving up four earned runs on eleven hits, in the Cardinals’ 8-7 win. Pineiro will be looking for his first victory since April 29, while the Cardinals’ hope that he will be able to keep them in the game against a probably angry Phillies team.
The Phillies’ offense last night seem to have recovered their hitting stroke, but they will need to start scoring runs in the early innings, while the starters will need to stop giving up runs in those same early innings so that their batters won’t have to be chasing after their opponents after falling behind. Hopefully, Hamels will give the Phillies a very well needed shot in the arm.
The Phillies’ lead against the Marlins has now shrunk down to a game and a half, as the fish prepare for the second of their three games with the Padres. The Mets will now start a three games series with the Giants in New York, as they now trail the Phillies by two and a half games. The Braves still trail the Phils by six games as they continue their three games series with the Dodgers. The Phillies will now be trying to win the last two series of their home stand before the All-Star break, hoping that they will get some help from the teams in the National League West who are now playing against their divisional opponents, while at the same time hoping to improve their lead in their division while becoming more consistant team.