The Phillies (61-50) will be starting a two series, six games home stand with a three games series against the second place Marlins (59-53). The first game of the series will be played tonight at Citizens Bank Park, and will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be the 45 years young veteran Jamie Moyer (10-6, 3.79), who has pitched a win against the Nationals on July 30, and has pitched his tenth straight good outing, as he goes six innings, going up only three earned runs, all given up in the first inning, on six hits, in the Phillies’ 8-5 win. Career wise he has been a major thorn in the Marlins’ side, going 10-0 in ten starts with a ERA of 3.03, including three wins recorded so far this season, where he has pitched twenty-one total innings, giving up only seven earned runs on thirteen hits to the fish. Moyer will be trying to continue his dominance over the Marlins’ while trying to set the tone for the present home stand. His opponent will be Josh Johnson (1-0, 4.18), who is coming off his first victory in four starts since coming off the disabled list and doing it against the Mets on July 30, going six and two-thirds innings, giving up four earned runs on eight hits, in the Marlins’ 7-5 win. He has faced the Phils once so far this season, getting a no-decision on July 20, pitching six and two-thirds innings, giving up two earned runs on seven hits, in the Marlins’ 3-2 win. He will be trying to improve on his previous start against the Phillies while trying to keep the Marlins close against the divisional leader.
The Phillies will be coming home after having a winning road trip which saw them sweep the Nationals and then take the series from the Cardinals, despite the offense being kept quiet during the series, especially their 1-3 hitters. Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino and Chase Utley will have to do better than they did in St. Louis, where they went a combined 5 for 33, with three walks, if they plan to help the team score the runs needed to beat the fish. At the same time, the starters will have to keep from giving up the long ball to the young turks of the Marlins, since that is really the only way to help stop their offense. If they can get this young team swinging at either bad pitches or at junk, the Phillies should have an easier time winning the series. Otherwise, this is going to be a very hard fought series. Hopefully, Moyer, Kyle Kendrick and Cole Hamels can help lead the way to a series victory against Florida.
The Phillies will enter tonight’s game with a two and a half game lead over the Marlins, while their lead over the Mets is at three game, as the Mets prepare to face the Padres at New York, and doing it without the services of a hurting Billy Wagner. The Braves now trail the Phillies by ten and a half games after a lost last night to the Giants. Unless they can spark a late run, the Braves are all but out of the pennant race. The Phillies will be trying to put some serious distance between themselves and the Marlins and the Mets, to take full control of the division, starting tonight.