Following a tough 3-4 road trip that included losing three of four to the San Francisco Giants, the Phillies return home to continue another NL West match-up with the Colorado Rockies. In the four games in San Francisco, the Phillies scored a grand total of 10 runs, not all that surprising when a strikeout-prone, home run-happy team enters a very pitcher-friendly ballpark. And have to face Tim Lincecum. I heard that guy is pretty good or something.
The Rockies, meanwhile, are a half-game ahead of the Giants for second place in the NL West and first in the NL Wild Card. They’ve won four in a row, which includes a sweep of the Reds in Cincinnati. Despite having the second-best offense in the NL, it’s their pitching — normally bad — that has given them the necessary boost to compete for a playoff spot.
Yes, everyone in the lineup has an OPS+ of at least 90, but they also have three starters with an ERA+ of at least 115 and closer Huston Street has been one of the most effective closers in all of baseball.
The Phillies are lucky in that they get to miss the Rockies’ best starters in Jason Marquis and Ubaldo Jimenez, instead having to face Jason Hammel, Jorge De La Rosa, and Aaron Cook. J.A. Happ will start the second game of the series for the Phils. He may be nearing the end of his starting role of the Phillies with Pedro Martinez not too far away from being inserted into the rotation. Cliff Lee will close out what is hopefully a series sweep in his second start as a Phil.
To the career numbers. Click each table if you want a better-looking version of it.
If you’re looking for something to look forward to, I should have an interview up with the guys from Fire Eric Bruntlett within the next day or so. That should be fun.