A Look Ahead: Hittin’ the Road

The Phillies start the week Monday traveling to the desert to take on the Arizona Diamondbacks.

In their last ten, the Phillies are 8-2. Arizona meanwhile has gone 5-5 over that stretch. The Diamondbacks currently sit in fourth place in the NL West with a 43-56 record. More importantly, the D-Backs have been bad at home this season, posting a 23-31 home record.

The Phillies take their league best 29-15 road record to the west to start a seven game road trip.

Starting for the Phillies on Monday is pitcher Jaime Moyer. Moyer got tagged for four runs in his last start against Chicago and lasted only five innings. Arizona will counter with right-handed pitcher Jon Garland, who is 5-9 this season with a 4.41 ERA.

Garland has been terrible at home this year, putting up a plus six ERA in Arizona. Also boding well for the Phillies is the fact that left-handed batters are hitting .289 against him this season.

On Tuesday, the Phils will face the D-Backs staff ace Dan Haren. This year Haren has pitched out of his mind and is a serious contender for the National League Cy Young Award. His last outing he was roughed up a bit, as the Pirates scored four earned off Haren in only five innings of work. That start was only the second this season in which he allowed more than three runs.

The Phillies have yet to announce their starter for Tuesday’s game.

Wednesday, Philadelphia fans may see pitcher J.A. Happ’s last game in pinstripes as Happ has been the centerpiece of every trade rumor involving the Phillies.

Happ will get the nod after coming off of his worst start of the season, a six inning performance in which he gave up 10 hits and five runs. To be fair, Happ did have to contend with an hour long rain delay.

The Diamondbacks will go with Right-hander Yusmeiro Petit in the finale. Petit has been awful in his nine starts this year. He is winless so far and has posted an abysmal 7.68 ERA.

With the exception of Tuesday, the Phillies should make quick work of Arizona and take two of three. Simply put, the Phillies bats have been on fire and Arizona just isn’t that good.

After the showdown in Arizona, the Phightin’s head further west to take on the San Francisco Giants.

Although the Giants have been good this year, they have cooled off quite a bit since the All-Star break. In their last ten, they have gone 3-7 and have lost their wild card lead. They currently sit third in the NL West.

The Phillies have yet to announce their starter for the series opener, but will be facing the Giant’s Jonathan Sanchez. Sanchez this season is 4-9 and is putting up a 4.92 ERA. In his last start against Chicago, Sanchez gave up five runs in five innings of work. He has been good at home this year and is holding left-handed hitters to a .239 average. Despite his high ERA, Sanchez has been better of late and has pitched very well in San Francisco, where his ERA drops down to 3.27.

Friday Joe Blanton gets the start and will face the Giants Ryan Sadowski. Blanton has been phenomenal the past two months and will look to continue his dominance.

Sadowski meanwhile has been effective since being called up in late June. He stands 2-3 with a 4.81 ERA.

The weekend starters have yet to be announced but the Phillies will likely face both Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain who have both dominated this season.

The Phillies meanwhile will likely start Cole Hamels and Jaime Moyer/Rodrigo Lopez/ Pedro Martinez/ Cliff Lee/ Roy Halladay over the weekend. Stay tuned to your nearest rumor mill for more information on probable weekend starters for the Phils.

A 4-3 record would be a nice way to finish a road trip, but it isn’t farfetched to believe the Phillies come home after going 5-2. They are after all, still one of the hottest teams in all baseball.

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