The Phillies (66-58) begins an important nine games home stand, and will start it with a three games against the woeful Nationals (44-81). The game will be played in Citizens Bank Park and will begin at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be Joe Blanton (6-12 (1-0), 4.79), who is coming off a no-decision against the Dodgers on August 13 in which he pitched a so-so five innings, giving up four earned runs on nine hits, in the Phillies’ 7-6 lost. He will be trying to regain the form he’d shown in his two starts before the Dodgers’ series, where he gave up only one earned run in fourteen innings of work. He will try to be the latest Phillies’ starter to have a good performance while hoping that the offense will give him the same support that they game him at the start of his previous start but didn’t respond to. The Nationals will oppose him with Jason Bergmann (2-9, 4.51), who is coming off a rather nasty lost to the Mets on August 13, as he got bombed for six earned runs on eight hits in three innings of work, in the Nationals’ 12-0 lost. He has already faced the Phillies twice this season, with both games being no-decisions, as he would pitch twelve and a third innings, giving up five earned runs on twelve hits. He’ll be looking to record his third win of the year while hoping that the Phillies’ bats won’t decide to take out their year long frustration out on him.
The Phillies come back home from a disastrous West Coast road trip, which saw them loss four straight to the Dodgers and then get a total of only eighteen hits in San Diego, despite winning the series against one of the worst teams in the league. Starting pitching continue to impress, the bullpen, in spite of a pair of blown saves in LA, is still the second best bullpen in the National League, while the bats continue to be frustratingly silent. The Phillies are bracing for a nasty response from the fanbase to Jimmy Rollins’ ‘front runners’ comment during the tail end of the Dodgers’ series fiasco. What they might not be prepared for is a fan-base campaign of support started last weekend by fellow blogger We Should Be GM’s who has suggested, partly in a sarcastic tone, that instead of booing the team into oblivion, the fans should give the team its whole hearted support, mainly to see what Rollins’ reaction will be to out and out whole hearted fan support from Phillies’ fans, instead of the expected boo-bird chants, which he calls Campaign: Cheer. My opinion on the campaign? If it help to get this team moving again, I’ll give it my support, 100%, with the stipulation that I have the right to boo them out of existance if they have a lousy home stand in spite of the support. Also, Charlie Manuel has literally asked for help in trying to get the Phillies’ offense back in operation. Hey, Charlie and Milt Thompson, another Phillies’ fan blogger, Phillies Phollowers, have some suggestions on how to get this team out of its collective slump. I suggest that you two read it and get the guys to do the same and follow the advice. I mean, come on, its simple common baseball sense, something that seems to have disappeared from within your team. But, more importantly, just go out there and clean the Nationals’ clock. This is a weak team that has recently been swept by the Mets. Beat them!!! Show them no mercy!!! GO PHILLIES!!!!
The Phillies now trail the Mets by a game and a half after the Mets’ lost to the Pirates (thank you thank you thank you!!!!), as they prepare for a three games series with the fading Braves who are now in a very unfamiliar role, that of a spolier. The Phillies are ahead of the Marlins by two and a half game as they prepare for a three games series with the presently hot Giants. The Phillies are hoping that they can do well against the Nationals while praying that the Braves will have enough fight left in them to give the Mets some heartburn.