Riding the big bats of Ryan Howard and Jayson Werth, the Phillies bring their four-game winning streak into Citi Field tonight for the first of four with the Mets. First pitch is set for 7:10, weather permitting.
Preview: The Phils are firing on all cylinders, roaring 20 games over .500 with an eight-for-nine burst to regain a commanding lead in the division. Although they haven't necessarily connected with runners in scoring position, the big power bats have been clicking, with Ryan Howard homering in six of his last seven games and Werth going deep five times in as many games. But for all their offense, the pitching has been even more impressive. One reason has been their impeccable control. After last night's eight-inning gem by Joe Blanton, Phillies' pitching has not given up a walk in 27-consecutive innings. The exception has been tonight's starter Cole Hamels (7-7, 4.77). Hamels, who has had a very frustrating and inconsistent season at the belt, has surrendered four walks in each of his last two starts. The left-hander will be seeking his first win since July 28 tonight.
Lineups are posted: Greg Dobbs gets a rare start at third base and bats seventh against the right-hander Mike Pelfrey. For New York, Gary Sheffield, one of the Mets' only real threats, will bat third amidst rumors that the club may soon release him. Have a great Friday everyone, and we'll talk tomorrow.