Owners of baseball's best road record (16-6), the Phillies return to Citizens Bank Park hoping to supply winning baseball to the home crowd.
It took a 10-game retreat away from Philadelphia for the Phillies to find their championship mojo, and for observers to get a sense of who they are and where they're going. Although they've played crisp ball of late, including a well-played series win in the Bronx, they've been a tight team at home, starting the year 8-12 with only one series win to date, coming at the expense of the 13-30 Nationals. Charlie Manuel recently suggested that distractions and commitments at home have taken the team's focus off baseball, something they're better able to achieve on the road.
While away, the offense went on a tear and the pitching showed signs of stabilizing. However, to this humble observer, they're still a starting pitcher short unless one of their struggling arms turns it around. One of those pitchers is Jamie Moyer (3-4, 7.64), who finally delivered an encouraging start his last time out. Once again, Moyer will be seeking career win 250. Twelve of his wins have come against the Marlins, against whom he owns a lifetime 12-1 record and 2.84 ERA. For Florida, Chris Volstad (3-3, 3.64) has the ball hoping to build on yesterday's 5-4 win over the Rays. The Marlins have really struggled since starting the year 11-1. They've gone 9-23 ever since.
Lineups are posted: Standard set, with Ruiz catching. Elsewhere in the division, the Mets host Washington. San Francisco leads Atlanta 3-1 in the sixth. The Mets and Braves enter play 1 1-2 games behind the Phils in the East. Enjoy the rest of your holiday weekend.