Inspite of being hurt by the injury bug, the third place Phils (47-40) are still in the thick of the National League Eastern division pennant race as they attempt to become the first National League team, since the 1942-1944 St. Louis Cardinals, to win three straight NL pennants. The Phils will start the second half of the season with a four-game visit to Chicago to face the fourth place Cubs (39-50) of the National League Central, who are having a bad year.
The first game of the four game set will be played tonight within the friendly confines of old Wrigley Field. The game will begin at 8:05 pm Eastern (7:05 pm Central). The Phils’ starter for the first game of the series will be grand pappy Jamie Moyer (9-8, 4.51), who is so far having a good season, although he has lost his last start against the Braves on July 7, as he got clubbed for seven runs on seven hits and a walk in five and a third innings of work, as the Braves ganged up on him in the sixth inning for six of those runs, while he struck out only three, in the Phils’ 7-5 lost. In his last three starts, Moyer is 1-2, as he pitched eighteen and a third innings, giving up eleven runs, ten of which were earned, on eighteen hits and three walks, while striking out eighteen batters. He will be trying to end a personal two-game losing streak while trying for the third time to get his tenth win of the season, which would tie him for the club lead with the team’s ace Roy Halladay. The Cubs will counter with Ryan Dempster (7-7, 3.61), who is coming off a win against the D-backs on July 7, as he pitched just five innings, giving up three runs on eight hits and a walk, while he struck out six, in the Cubs’ 8-3 win. In his last three starts, his record is 2-1, as he also pitched eighteen and a third innings, giving up eleven runs, eight of which were earned, on nineteen hits and seven walks, while striking out twenty-three. He will be going for his eighth win of the year. The Phils’ offense will be trying to break out of its present mini-slump while trying to build on their recent sweep of the National League Central Division leading Reds by trying to get their fifth straight win, while waiting for more of their injured players to come off the disabled list.