Sweep, or take two-of-three, and the Phils could not only hold steady on the trade front, but actually become aggressors before Monday night's non-waiver trade deadline.
The Braves occupy one of the two Wild Card spots and hold a 9.5-game advantage over the Phillies, who could cut their deficit to as much a 6.5 games with a head-to-head sweep this weekend, or, in a worse-case scenario, fall 12.5 behind, in which case, Beerleaguer will hold its weekly Monday morning funeral. Sweep, or take two-of-three, and the Phils could not only hold onto Shane Victorino, Juan Pierre, Joe Blanton and whomever else, but place a bet on themselves over the next two months rather than hope the prospects they'd get in return would develop down the road, not that Vic and company would fetch blue-chip prospects anyway. The Phillies' 'pen has improved lately, but eighth-inning help continues to be their one, glaring need. That's the spot the Phils would look to improve.
One thing is certain: If these re-armed Phillies take two of three from the Braves, or if they pull off the sweep, this town will want the Phillies to go for it.
Pirates rumor: The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, citing a source, is reporting that talks between the Pirates and Phillies over Victorino "got hung up" when the Phillies asked for right-handed reliever Brad Lincoln. The Bucs reportedly countered with Jared Hughes and a minor leaguer.