The Phillies have a chance to gain ground in the NL Wild Card race when they open a three-game series against the Reds.
If the 52-61 Braves still count as having legitimate playoff hopes, more than 1/3 of all the major league games this weekend have significant National League Wild Card implications.
"You just never know," Randy Wolf told MLB.com. "This game is crazy. I think people have given up on us 10 times already. You look at what the Dodgers have done; I think they've won like 40 in a row now. You can make up a lot of ground quickly."
The Phillies have an opportunity to close the gap, or fall out of the race even more. Teams in the hunt are gunning for either 59-56 Cincinnati or 59-56 Los Angeles at this point.
If the Phils get all the right breaks this weekend, they could be tied for the Wild Card lead by Monday morning.
They can’t control the outcome of the other games, but they have an excellent chance to help themselves against a scuffling Reds club that has lost 8-of-12 and five in a row to the Phillies, who completed a sweep of the Reds at Great American Ballpark back on May 14.
Jon Lieber (4-9, 5.71 ERA) will try to build on a solid nine-inning effort against the Mets, but will also try to forget the critical throwing error that all but cost them the game. He’ll face right-hander Kyle Loshe (0-0, 4.50 ERA), making his second start for the Reds since coming over from Minnesota.
This is the start of a 10-game homestand for the Phils.