After a long layoff due to Hurricane Irene, the Phillies began a 33 games in 31 days stretch with a 4 game series in Cincy to face the Reds. The layoff obviously was a good thing for the Phillies....for now at least. Phils pitching dominated the Reds who have a pretty good offense. Guys like Joey Votto, Jay Bruce, and Brandon Phillips. The win yesterday also improved the Phillies to an astonishing 41 games over .500. Now with that stat said, you'd think the Phillies would have over a 10 game lead in the division....instead it's only 7.5. I know a 7.5 game lead is a big lead, but if we get swept, and Atlanta keeps their hot streak going and sweep a series at the same time. Lead's cut down to 4.5 and all of a sudden that NL East crown doesn't look like a definite.
Onto Vance Worley who has been maybe the most pleasant surprise of this team. Worley has shown he belongs here and that he isn't a fluke, and he just keeps on proving it each start he has. The Phillies have won in Worley's last 12 starts, the most in franchise history since it was 15 straight wins behind Steve Carlton in his magical year of 1972.
The Phillies make the trip down to South Florida to face the Marlins, The Phils send Roy Oswalt, Cole Hamels, and Roy Halladay to face the Fish. Hamels will be making his second start since coming off the DL with shoulder inflimation. Cole looked strong against Cincinnati going 6 innings and only allowing one run and striking out 7. Expect Hamels to still probably go only 7 innings should he be on his game Saturday. No reason to push it and have Cole throw 100+ pitches in that game.
After the series with Florida, the Phils will need to be on their game completely as they'll face the Braves and the Brewers. The Brewers have turned it on in the second half of the season and are probably the Phils biggest threat in the NL. The Braves well, you just need to win that series. Plain and simple. One thing though you can expect, CBP will be even louder than usual during that series with Atlanta as the Phillies, should they at least win 2 out of 3 in Florida, have a chance to bury the Braves in the division. 4 games out of the 33 games in 31 days stretch, magic number to clinch playoff spot-12, magic number to clinch division-21. Take care of buisness in Florida, and get ready for Atlanta. LET'S GO PHILS!