The Phillies are counting on Roy Halladay (3-0, 1.13) to snap their three-game slide when they continue their series with right-hander Tim Hudson (1-0, 2.84) and the Braves tonight.
Preview: Lately, the rotation and bullpen have been trending in opposite directions, with the starting five passing the bullpen in most categories, including ERA (3.66 rotation / 4.34 bullpen) and the number of walks-per-innings pitched (22 walks over 78 2-3 innings for the rotation, which leads the league, compared to 15 in 37 1-3 innings for the 'pen). Halladay is obviously the key to their success, averaging eight innings in his first three starts. ... While most of the bench is off to a quiet start, maligned-by-Beerleaguer reservist Juan Castro has been a pleasant surprise at short, showcasing a reliable glove and arm while going 8-for-25 (.320) at the dish. He's in the lineup again tonight, meaning recent call-up Wilson Valdez will again wait to take his first official cut with the Phils. ... Placido Polanco stayed ahead of Martin Prado for the National League lead in hits (23) by matching Prado's 2-hit night. With all due respect to Chase Utley, Polly's hot start is one of the stories of the season, and reminiscent of Raul's sizzling debut a year ago. With Jimmy Rollins reeling, the Phillies hope it will continue.
Injury updates: Brad Lidge joins Lehigh Valley for a rehab appearance tomorrow. Joe Blanton will start for Reading on Friday night.