The Houston Astros are a scrappy ballclub. They’ve beaten the Phillies in three games already in the four game series. This afternoon, the Phillies will hope to avoid being swept by the Astros at home.
Larry Anderson, Phillies radio broadcaster, quipped last night that is was the ‘Phillies of the South vs The Phillies of the East”. He’s not too far off base with that comment, but the sad fact is that the real Phillies have now lost three games in a row. The Atlanta Braves also lost last night, they got swept in a three game series with Colorado, but the Phillies couldn’t capitalize on this, as they are losing themselves.
On August 12th, Shane Victorino was activated from the DL by the Phillies, five days later on the 17th of August, Chase Utley was activated from the DL, and on August 21st, Ryan Howard was activated from the DL. Since the return of Shane Victorino, the Phillies have gone 7-6. The Phillies started the month of August off being red hot, without the Phillies players above that were still on the DL, the Phils produced a 7-2 record for the period from Aug. 1 to Aug. 11th. Ryan Howard in particular has been cold as ice since his return, and the Phillies may have wanted him to have some more games in the minors before just recalling him to the big club as his coldness has hurt this ballclub.
The usual happened again with Cole Hamels and Roy Halladay during their starts against the Astros. The Phillies only managed to score 1 run for Hamels again when he pitched his 7.0 innings pitched, they went on to score only 1 more run in the loss to the Astros after Cole left the game. Hamels didn’t get the loss in that game as the Phillies tied the game in the bottom of the 9th and then lost in 16 innings against the Astros. In his last 4 starts, the Phillies have scored a combined 4 runs while Cole Hamels has started games on the mound. Roy Halladay lost his first game in August, when the Phillies could score only 2 runs for him on the mound last night. Prior to last night’s loss, Halladay had reeled off 4 successful wins for his record and the Phillies.
JA Happ and Brett Myers have recorded wins off of the Phillies in this series. The offense just couldn’t produce and it’s been leading to losses in this series with the Astros.
It’s a businessperson’s special this afternoon in Philly. A 1:05 PM start, and Kyle Kendrick stands between either the Phillies getting swept or salvaging this series by avoiding it. The regular ‘star’ Phillies have got to start picking it up here, they are a bit rusty and it is showing.