The Philles (61-51) continue their three games series with the Marlins (60-53) tonight. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be Kyle Kendrick (9-5, 4.59), who is coming off a win against the Nationals on July 31, where he went six and two-thirds innings, giving up only two earned runs on seven hits, in the Phillies’ 8-4 win. He will be trying to rebound from his last start against the Marlins on July 19, where he got rocked for seven runs on ten hits in four and one third innings, in the Philles’ 9-5 lost. Lifetime against the fish, he is 1-1 with a ERA of 5.40 in three starts. He will be trying for his tenth win of the year, while trying to end the Phillies’ present losing streak at one game. The Marlins will oppose him with Anibal Sanchez (1-0, 3.18), who is coming off a victory over the Rockies on July 31, as he went five and two-thirds innings, giving up just two earned runs on six hits, in the Marlins’ 12-2 win. He will be trying to make it two wins in a row after coming off the disabled list, while trying to get the Marlins even closer to the Phils in the East.
The Phillies, if they want to win the Eastern Division, will have to start taking care of business, and that means that they will have to both win games at home and win games against their opponents in the East, and in this case that means defeating both the Marlins and the Mets, so far the only teams in the National League who they have losing records with. This team seriously need to start putting together better game plans against the other teams’ starters and against their regulars and most important of all, they will have to stick with those plans as best they can, otherwise they are going to be in for some very big trouble as September draws near. Among other things, they will need to start thinking better while they are at the plate, like they did when they faced the Braves two weekends ago to win that series at home. They need to get to thinking in terms of situational baseball. Now, while home runs are nice and dramatic, they mean squat if the team is down by several runs, and are having a hard time getting men on the basepaths to score when the homers are belted. The players need to, as I keep saying every so often, try to get on base with walks, play hit and run, steal bases, move the runners over, sacrifice themselves, hit the ball over to the right side with less than two men outs, hit more sacrifice flies, anything that’ll get runs across when the team is having a bad time trying to score. Of course, this goes back to Charlie Manuel and the team’s hitting coach. Hey, Charlie, you are not an American League manager anymore, start acting like a real National League manager, start putting pressure on your opponent with your team. As for the hitting coach, has he even tried to teach these guys how to play situational baseball? If he hasn’t that may explain a few things. Come on guys, you got brains. Start using them.
The Phillies lead the Marlins by a game and a half as they get ready to face each other tonight. The Mets trail by two games, as they meet the Padres in New York. The Braves trail by nine and a half games as they face the Giants in San Francisco, who they are presently trailing in an afternoon game. The Phillies will be trying to win the series with victories tonight and tomorrow afternoon, as they try to take control of their own destiny for the rest of the season.
Edit: The Braves are now trailing by ten games as they have just lost to the Giants, 3-2.