The 4th Place Phillies (72-86) are coming off 2-1 series loss to the pathetic Miami Marlins. The Boys of Summer managed just 19 hits and four runs while giving up 22 hits and eight runs to the worst offensive baseball team in 32 years. The Marlins used three 23-year old starters who combined for a 9-13 record and 212.2 innings pitched all year. To put that in perspective Cole Hamels pitched 220 innings himself, posting an 8-14 record. The season should have ended last night as this series was the quintessential microcosm for the Phils 2013 season.
The Phils have now lost six of their last seven games, evening manager Ryne Sandberg’s record at 19-19. They open a four game series tonight against the NL East division leading Braves (93-65) and need to take three of four to ensure Ryno a winning record in his first 42 games as manager. The Braves enter the series with a 10-13 record in September after a torrid 20-7 record in August.
The Braves are coming off a 2-1 series loss at home to the hapless Brewers. Have injuries and an inconsistent, yet powerful lineup caught up with the Braves…perhaps. Still, expect the Braves to show up this weekend as they’d very much like to have the home field advantage through the NL playoffs. Currently they’re one game behind the Cardinals in the race for best record in the NL. The Braves have the best home record in the major leagues, and over taking the Cards this weekend will be a big boost if they’re to play for a World Championship.
The match up for the four game series are as follows:
Thursday Night: Tyler Cloyd 2-6, 540 ERA vs David Hale 0-0, 0.00 ERA
Friday Night: Cliff Lee 14-7, 2.93 ERA vs Kris Medlen 14-12, 3.24 ERA
Saturday Night: TBD vs Mike Minor 13-8, 3.22 ERA
Sunday Afternoon: Zach Miner 0-1, 3.08 ERA vs Julio Teheran 13-8, 3.09 ERA
One interesting sub-plot remains for the Phils entering the season’s final series. They are currently tied for the 9th worst record in majors. Finishing in the bottom 10 would give the Phils a protected 1st round draft pick should they sign a tendered, tier 1 free agent.