The Phillies entertain the Colorado Rockies for three games in Philly in a battle between struggling teams. The pitching match-ups are the most favorable the Phils will see all season.
Beerleaguer: Tonight begins a 10-game homestand ending next Thursday, June 28, at which point the Phils will spin themselves in one of three directions: within striking distance of the division lead, comfortably out of the picture, but not completely out of it, like they are now, or alongside cellar dwellers like the Padres, Cubs, Mariners and Rockies without a snowball's chance in hell. No doubt the Phils blew it in Toronto, missing a golden opportunity to gain ground against a marginal opponent as the rest of the division scuffled.
The Phils are at a point where they not only need to take each set, but to mix in another long winning streak, something they haven't done since their six-gamer back in mid-May in games against the Padres, Astros, Cubs and the first game of the Red Sox series. They have an opportunity to start one tonight as Cole Hamels matches up with Josh Outman, the first of three Rockies' pitchers (Alex White, Jeff Francis), who should be out-classed by the weakened post-Halladay staff (Joe Blanton, Vance Worley). And if that isn't the case, well, what more can you say?
A vintage start from Hamels, something we haven't seen since May, would set the pace for the entire series. The Rockies are a completely different offense on the road (.668 OPS, which rates 27th in the league away from home). The Phils need to take care of business here then try to push the rock up the hill against Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh, who follow in this homestand.
Beer nuts: The Williamsport Crosscutters won their season opener against State College. Roman Quinn started at short legged out a hit. Larry Greene started in left and went 0-for-4. Mitch Walding started at third. Tyler Greene was at second.