Monday, June 16, 2008

Phillies face tough week ahead

After starting off with a sweep of the Atlanta Braves, the Phillies finished off their long road trip with a whimper, losing 4 of their last 6 despite out-scoring their opponents 37-23. Three of those losses were by one run, including yesterday's 7-6 loss to the Cardinals in the 10th inning where this happened:

Eric Bruntlett's collision with Yadier Molina not only cost Molina some brain cells, it also cost the Phillies the game. Had Bruntlett slid properly, the Phillies would have taken the lead heading into the bottom of the 9th.

Things don't get any easier for the Phillies this week as they face off against the two best teams in the American League, the Red Sox and Angels. Both teams are playing well right now, so this will be a real measuring stick for how far the Phillies have come this season. Checking out the pitching match-ups (posted to the right), the Phillies have an advantage against Boston since they won't face Josh Beckett. The Red Sox are also banged up, with Manny Ramirez missing the last few games and David Ortiz still on the DL.

If the Phillies can split this week, I would consider it a success. The Red Sox and Angels are both complete teams that can hit and have great pitching, so the Phillies will have to be at their best. Boston has had the upper hand against the Phils the last few years so let's see if they can bounce back.

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