Philadelphia Phillies – Road To The Unknown

Tonight the Phillies are going into the 3rd game of a 3 game series against the Washington Nationals in which they will intend for a sweep.  More importantly than the Nats are the uncoming series against some of the Phightins toughest competitors.  The Phils start off with another 4 game series against the Dodgers, but this time it is at home on our turf at Citizen Bank Park.  Next we have a 2 game series with the Mets at home and then we go on the road to Chicago.  In Chicago we face off against the Cubs in Wrigley Field which is one of the toughest divisions this year.  However, if we can remain close to the Mets for the remainder of August we have a chance at taking over 1st place in September.  The Phillies have an extremely weak schedule in September except for a series with the Mets and Brewers.  The remainder  of the month consists of mostly the Marlins, Nationals, and Braves.

The Pitching match-up tonight is Jamie “the ace” Moyer against Tim Redding.  Redding a pitcher whom is usually lethal against the Phillies line-up was waxed last time against the Phightins in DC.  Redding allowed 7 runs in just 4 innings against the Phillies on July 30th.

On a side note catcher David Ross will not be joining the Phillies for the division run.  He has decided to accept an offer from Boston.  Pat Gillick remains optimistic that they will be able to acquire another bat.  He had said it would more likely be a bench player as opposed to a position player.  Gillick said that they feel comfortable with Jayson Werth in right field.  In addition, I would expect to see Lou Marson in the wing when they are allowed expand on their roster.

State Of The Union – Myers, Happ, Utley, Eaton and Manny

     The Phillies starting pitcher turned bullpen help Adam Eaton was demoted yesterday to AAA Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs.  This comes off of a 2 inning mess on Sunday against the Braves that he allowed 3 runs with 2 of them being longballs.  Eaton was recently demoted into the bullpen hoping he could at least fill a need for a right handed long reliever, but he was unable to come into a game and shut down the opponent.  He was pulled into Manuel’s office after the game and gracefully bowed out as Brett Myers had recently done.  Adam will be placed into the starting rotation at Lehigh Valley and according to Ruben Amaro Jr. he will be shuffled around the Phillies affiliate teams in order to stay localized in case he needs to be called up.

     J.A. Happ is being called up to the Phillies once again, but it has not yet been determined whether he will be placed into the starting rotation or as a reliever.  Brett Myers has a start tomorrow against the Washington Nationals which could determine if he is to remain in the starting rotation or be moved to the bullpen and replaced by Happ.

     The trade rumors surrounding Manny Ramirez coming to Philadelphia has been down played by the Phillies organization.  It has been documented that the Phillies and the Mets have both contacted Boston in regards to trading Manny for their respective ball clubs.  The Mets do not have what it takes in trades to be able to get Manny and they are not even sure if they are willing to take the chance on disrupting the club house.  Pat Gillick had stated that the Phillies currently do not have a position open for Manny considering that they currently have Pat Burrell in left field.  I would assume that Manny would at least remain in Boston for the rest of the year considering how much his salary commands from an organization.

     Chase Utley has been having some soreness in his right hip according to Ruben Amaro Jr. and David Montgomery.  However, Utley has down played the injury stating that his soreness has nothing to do with his issues surrounding the recent hitting slump.  I would not expect Chase to be placed on the D.L., but you may see him get pulled out of games if they have a comfortable lead in order to rest his hip and get Eric Bruntlett some playing time.

Philadelphia Phillies – Hung Up By The Sox

Yesterday the Philadelphia Phillies dropped the 2nd game in the 3 game series against the Boston Red Sox.  Kyle Kendrick was pulled after 3 innings for walking 2 batters and allowing 6 hits along with 6 earned runs.  The Phillies offense was stagnent once again with only getting 6 hits and Victorino, Utley, Burrell, Jenkins, Coste, and Werth being a non factor.  The heart of the Phillies offensive line-up has had it’s recent struggles with a lack luster on base percentage.  The Phils have only been able to win 3 of their last nine games against the Marlins, Cardinals, and the Boston Red Sox.  With the trade deadline approaching fast the Phillies need to asess what positions if any they intend to improve upon.  They obviously have a need for a starting pitcher by removing Myers as well as a left-hander in the bullpen replacing Condrey, Gordon, or Seanez.  Why be satified there when you could improve on the bench with removing So Taguchi or finding a more stable everyday right fielder and replacing Jenkins who struggles at the plate.  There is plenty of room for improvement with July 31st approaching.  The Phillies must know by now that they are a team in contention for their division.  I would be surprised if there are not any changes made by Gillick to solidify this team.

Philadelphia Phillies – Hamels Shuts Down Big Red Machine

The Philadelphia Phillies take 3 of 4 games in the series with the Cincinatti Reds at Citizen Bank Park.  Cole Hamels shoned once again like a diamond in the rough.  He pitched a complete game shut out against the Big Red Machine with only 3 hits accrued with a final score of 5-0.  The offense was lacking again today with 5 runs scored on 5 hits with one being a solo blast from Geoff Jenkins.  Jimmy Rollins was benched today in the 3rd inning by Charlie Manuel for failure to run out a routine pop-up which lead to an error and stranded Jimmy on 1st instead of 2nd base.  Eric Bruntlett was his replacement whom was able to get on base and later score due to Ken Griffey Jr.’s dropped ball in right field.  The Cincinnati Reds earned 3 errors today which puts them in 3rd place with 47 total errors in the N.L. while being tied with the Pittsburg Pirates for the 2nd worst fielding pct.  The Phillies are headed off to their 9 game road trip which they will play the Braves, Marlins, and the Cardinals before returning home to face the Boston Red Sox for inter-league play.  Go Phightins !!