The Phillies have one big cog, Chase Utley, missing from the machine. Otherwise, they’re all present and accounted for. Scary.
The question from earlier, “When was the last time the Phils looked like a team in control,” resonates strongly as the Phils get set to follow a miserable four-game set with another four-day festival of fun. The hometown nine has either looked brilliant (Cincinnati, Milwaukee) or brutal (Pittsburgh, Chicago) against the National League Norris, but hold a healthy 18-11 mark against the Norris overall, much of that padded when the Phillies were “in control.” St. Louis always fails to impress head-to-head, but the Phillies’ inconsistency since mid-May makes this series more imposing than usual against the Cards. Considering how they’ve swung the bats, these are terrifying probables:
Monday (7:05 ET): Kendrick (5-3, 4.44) vs RHP Hawksworth (3-5, 4.73)
Tuesday (8:15 ET): Moyer (9-9, 4.88) vs RHP Carpenter (10-3, 3.16)
Wednesday (8:15 ET): Blanton (3-5, 6.21) vs RHP Garcia (8-4, 2.27)
Thursday (2:15 ET): Hamels (7-7, 3.63) vs RHP Wainwright (14-5, 2.02)
If the season ended today, the Cards would make the playoffs as the Norris winner, so it’s another barometer for the Phillies, who fell to third place and 5.5 back in the division and 2 games back in the Wild Card race yesterday.
Stuff Beerleaguer missed: Ryan Vogelsong, a Kutztown University product, was released by the Phillies Friday to make room on the the Lehigh Valley roster for Antonio Bastardo. The right-hander went 2-5 with a 4.91 ERA in 25 games. He signed a minor league deal with the Phillies in January after spending three seasons in Japan.
Phillies ratings: The Phils' woes haven't detered viewers. Phillies games on Comcast SportsNet are averaging a 7.2 household rating (214,000 households) through 50 games, a 16 percent increase over last season’s first-half 6.2 ratings average.Worley: CSNPhilly minor league insider Kevin Czerwinski wonders what it will take for 22-year-old right-hander Vance Worley to earn a promotion. Worley threw eight shutout innings yesterday and is 4-0 in his last four starts, including a three-hitter in his last outing. This is his second full season in Double-A, and Lehigh Valley's pitching staff is mostly stiffs.