Phillies to deal aces from deck
Phillies are slated to send All-Star Roy Halladay to the mound on
Friday as they open up a series at home against the Atlanta Braves
Halladay (11-3, 2.44 ERA) continues to mow down batters as he looks
to win 20+ games for the second consecutive season. Last year
Halladay went 21-10 in his first Phillies campaign, posting a 2.44
ERA, a 1.04 WHIP, and a .245 opponent's batting average. How's he
looking this year? A 2.44 ERA, a 1.03 WHIP, and a .241 opponent's
The righthander went back to Toronto to face his old club in an
interleague matchup last time out, and the results were par for the
course: Nine innings pitched, three runs allowed on eight hits,
eight strikeouts, and just one walk.
That result marked Philadelphia's ninth consecutive win in a
Halladay start, and on the season the Phillies are 15-3 when the
righthander takes to the mound.
The last time he lost, though, was on May 15 against the Braves (in
Atlanta), when he came out on the wrong side of a 3-2 decision.
Halladay gave up all three runs on eight hits over eight innings of
work that day, walking two and fanning seven.
Getting the call for the Braves on Friday is expected to be Brandon
Beachy (3-1, 3.23 ERA), who left his last start against the Phillies
(May 13) with an oblique injury after allowing three runs on six
hits over just two innings of work. The righthander also started
against the Phillies back on April 9, taking the loss that day after
giving up four runs on seven hits in six innings pitched.
On Saturday Cliff Lee (9-6, 2.92 ERA) gets the call for Philadelphia
and he had his consecutive scoreless innings streak snapped in
Toronto over the weekend, getting pounded for seven runs (six
earned) on 10 hits in his 7 1-3 innings of work. The lefthander had
won his previous five starts, throwing shutouts in the last three.
Tommy Hanson (10-4, 2.52 ERA), riding a five-game winning streak of
his own, is listed as the Braves' probable pitcher for Saturday; he
hasn't faced Philly this year.
Two other NL playoff contenders also meet in a series this weekend,
with the St. Louis Cardinals hosting the Arizona Diamondbacks. The
second game of the series on Friday lines up as Ian Kennedy (8-3,
3.38 ERA) vs. Kyle Lohse (8-5, 2.97 ERA), with Daniel Hudson (9-5,
3.75 ERA) taking on Chris Carpenter (4-7, 3.74 ERA) in Saturday's
The Cardinals thought they'd be without superstar first baseman
Albert Pujols for one to two months, but instead the slugger was
activated from the disabled list this week after rehabbing his
broken wrist for a mere two weeks.
And if Pujols starts cranking the ball again it'll be great news for
the Cardinals' playoff chances – and for those who are already
supporting St. Louis on the MLB futures market. Oddsmaker currently
has the Cards, in a dogfight in the NL Central division, at +1500 to
win the World Series this season. Their weekend opponents,
meanwhile, are at +2200 right now as they jostle with the San
Francisco Giants at the top of the NL West standings.