Coming into this big series with the Atlanta Braves, most people thought that this was a statement series, that the Phils needed to prove they could beat the Braves without much trouble, and well, they did just that. The Phils came into this series determined to put the Braves even further out of contention in the division and prove to the non-believers, that this team IS the best in all of baseball. Game 1 was the Cliff Lee show, Clifton Phifer Lee mowed down Atlanta for his 6th shutout of the season and continued his August hot streak. The offense pounded out 9 runs as well up against Braves starter Derek Lowe. Ryan Howard picked up homer number 31 as the Big Man is possibly on his way to his 5th 40 homer season. In a rain soaked game 2 the Vanimal went 6 strong against the Bravos only allowing 2 runs. The Phils offense had to go up against one of the better pitchers in the game, Tim Hudson. But that night, the fan-favorite rookie outdueled the veteran as the Phils won 6-3 behind 3 RBI's by Raul Ibanez and a solo shot from The Man Chase Utley. In game 3 the Phillies had a chance to virtually bury the Braves and go 10.5 games up in the division, they did just that. Roy Oswalt looked strong and went 7 innings only allowing 2 runs. Let's set the stage, bottom of the 9th, 2 on, 1 out, Ross Gload, who has struggled this year with a hip injury the batter. Gload ripped one fair down the right field line and the Phillies completed the sweep. Not so chipper now, eh Chipper?
One downside of this series though came in game 3, Chase Utley who was hit in the head with a pitch and stayed in the game had to be taken out in the 9th. Chase will not make the trip to Milwuakee as the Phils face the Brewers tonight. One can only hope Chase is gonna be ok and he doesn't have a concussion. Those things aren't to be taken lightly, the Phillies should have had somebody out there checking on him as soon as that happened. You could tell Chase was dazed, we all know how tough Chase is, but the Phils medical staff should have been out there even though Chase didn't go down. Feel better soon Chase!
Now onto the Phils upcoming series with the Milwaukee Brewers, the Brew Crew have been one of the hottest teams since the All-Star break, the Brewers lead the Central by 8.5 and they are maybe the Phillies biggest threat going into the late September stretch and assuming the playoffs. This series is a statement series for the Phils as well, especially because the Brewers, in my opinion and I'm sure a lot of other people's, the second best team in the NL. If the Phils win 2 out of 3 or sweep, it's huge, absolutely huge. The team's 3 best pitchers go to the mound in this series, Cole Hamels gets the ball for game 1, Doc for game 2, and Cliff for game 3. There are no 3 better pitchers you'd want to have pitching in a series like this. LET'S GO PHILS!