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The Dodgers And The Padres Forgot To Lock The Backdoor!
While most of us on the East Coast only saw highlights of the memorable game played at Chez Ravine this past week between the Dodgers and Padres, even we have to admit that it was nothing short of amazing.
But guess what, folks? It only meant one game in the standings and the Philadelphia Phillies did not seem too impressed. For the first time this year, Ryan Howard and his mates have a share of the top spot in the wild card race, as they prepare for the Florida Marlins to hit town.
The good news in the City of Brotherly Love is also the fact that their ball team won’t have to face the Marlins’ ace pitcher, Dontrelle Willis, in their three game set beginning Friday. Willis hit two home runs and pitched into the ninth inning to lead the Marlins over the New York Mets 6-3 Wednesday night.
Willis (12-11) has won three straight starts for the first time this season. He allowed three runs and seven hits to improve to 3-1 against the Mets this season and 11-2 with a 2.02 ERA in his career. The left-hander is 5-1 with a no-decision in his last seven starts overall.
The big concern for the Phil’s will be whether young Ryan Howard can keep up his torrid power numbers, or will he go into a funk that will see him strikeout a lot. If you want to do some baseball betting on him, you should research his odds at your favorite sportsbook first.
Howard has struck out 170 times in 548 at-bats, including 13 K's over his last 28 at-bats. However, he also leads the majors with 57 home runs and 140 RBIs and is batting .312. He's batting .283 against left-handed pitchers.
Chase Utley set a career high and a Phillies record for a second baseman when he hit his 29th home run in the sixth inning Wednesday night. Utley had 28 homers last season, matching Juan Samuel's previous mark for a Phillies second baseman, set in 1987.
The Phillies shuffled their starting rotation, pushing back LHP Randy Wolf to Monday night against the Astros. RHP Jon Lieber will pitch Saturday against the Marlins and LHP Jamie Moyer will start the series finale Sunday.
Mostly, the switch was made so that Lieber won't have to face the Marlins in Miami during the last weekend of the season. Lieber is 5-5 with a 5.86 ERA in 15 career starts in the South Florida heat.
The Phillies lead the NL with a .989 fielding percentage and they have experienced pitching with the addition of Jamie Moyer. They will win the wild card!
About the Author: Bob is an experienced sports writer and handicapper, who has written for the sports industry for over 10 years. His years of writing for Sports Scene, sports consulting on 33 Made for Television and Major Motion Pictures and his work as an instructor at Pro Teach Baseball Academy, have made Bob a trusted and respected source in the sports world.