The Phillies winning streak came to
an end Sunday in San Francisco in a 3-1 loss as Tim Lincecum proved to be too
good yet again. Nevertheless through
seven games on the 10-game trip so far the Phillies sit at 6-1, and playing a
sub-par Dodgers team for the next three games look to end on a high note
heading back to Philadelphia. While the
Dodgers are coming off a series win in Phoenix against the Dbacks, unlike 2008
and 2009 they will not be destined for October, as they sit at 52-61 coming
into this 3-game set.
the Phillies will not see NL strikeout king Clayton Kershaw in this series, as
he pitched Sunday against Arizona.
However, they will see Hiroki Kuroda in the 1st game of the
series. Kuroda’s record of 7-13 for the
2011 campaign does not indicate the kind of pitcher he is. A sub-3 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP are more
indicative of the season for the right-hander, as he hasn’t gotten enough
offensive support to boast a better record.
Last season, in a game in Los Angeles, Kuroda took a no-hitter into the
8th inning only to see Shane Victorino break it up. Throw in Kuroda’s 0.84 ERA lifetime against
the Phillies and don’t be surprised if the Phillies struggle to score in the
series opener. The Phillies send their
ace of aces Roy Halladay to the mound Monday night. Halladay coming off a shaky outing Wednesday
in Denver at Coors Field looks to rebound and show why he’s 1 of 5 pitchers in
Major League Baseball history to win the Cy Young award in both leagues. Roger Clemens, Pedro Martinez, Gaylord Perry,
and Randy Johnson are the other four.
Pretty good company huh? Tuesday
night’s matchup features Cliff Lee for the Phillies coming off his masterful
complete game shutout Thursday night in San Fran while the Dodgers counter with
former Cub Ted Lilly. The matinee on
Wednesday has Vance Worley slated to go for the Phillies while Los Angeles
sends Chad Billingsley to the hill.
eluded to earlier, Hiroki Kuroda doesn’t get a whole lot of run support from
his offense. Well, he’s not alone. In 6 games so far in the month of August, only
three times have the Dodgers scored more than 3 runs. Don’t expect the offensive production to get
any better in these next three games against the Phillies pitching staff. As for the Phillies, they haven’t blown the
doors off of anybody lately, aside from the 9-2 Friday night victory, but
offensively it seems like they’ve done just enough to win. 2 runs in win Saturday, 4 runs in a Thursday
night win aren’t exactly eye-opening offensive statistics but it’s been good
enough to win. We all know with the
pitchers the Phillies have, it doesn’t take much offensively in order to secure
no reason to think the Phillies can’t at least take two of three from LA. While Kuroda has a good history against the
Phillies, there’s no reason to think Halladay won’t be able to match him pitch
for pitch. Other than Kuroda there is no
one on the Dodgers with a similar kind of previous success against the
Phillies. After all when the two teams
met in the 2008 NLCS and then the 2009 NLCS the Phillies won both series in 5
games, and won the season series in 2010.
Given this prior success in years past against the Dodgers, don’t expect
one loss to cool the Phillies off.
Expect them to return to their winning ways against Los Angeles.
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