The Phils haven't reached the post-season in 14 years, and have been in this position before. Tied for the WC lead, they try to complete the task when they open a six-game homestand against the Braves.
Scheduled starters: LHP Chuck James (11-10, 4.11) vs. LHP Jamie Moyer (13-11, 5.01)
Preview: Tonight is regarded as the must-win game of the series, or else the Phils are forced to win two-straight against Hudson and Smoltz. Due to San Diego’s catastrophic weekend, many consider the Phillies the new favorites to capture the Wild Card. A reminder that with six to go, they were the favorites last season as well, with reporters going so far as to say the Phils controlled their own destiny. A year wiser, we know better ...
... and they didn't even face the Braves, who're as good as any team in the National League. That's a fact. Occasionally, Chuck James will give the Tomahawks seven solid innings. It happened his last start, a seven-inning, two-hit shutout against the Marlins. In between, it’s mediocrity. Truth be told, it’s a similar story for Jamie Moyer, who’s been solid his previous two starts. The only numerical difference between James and Moyer, really, is age, and just a few more meltdowns for Moyer to account for the difference in ERA.
The Braves, winners of eight of their last 10, hold a slim 8-7 edge over the Phillies this season and have won four of six in Philadelphia.
Lineups are posted: Jayson Werth, Carlos Ruiz and Abraham Nunez round out the lineup card.
Beerleaguer: With Edgar Renteria's return, along with the deadline acquisition of Mark Teixeira, the Braves’ lineup is more powerful than at any point the Phils have seen them all season, and they're finally starting to click. They could be even more amped up than the Phils. I’m very scared of this series.