Friday, May 28, 2010

Mets complete shutout sweep over Phils; Florida next

The Phillies sure picked a bad time to go into one of the worst hitting slumps in baseball history. After being swept by the Mets in a series that they failed to score a run, the Phillies have not scored against a starting pitcher since last Friday. They've scored in just one inning since then.

Struggling against American League opponents, as they have the last few seasons, is one thing. Failing to score a run against competition in the same division is another entirely.

The five game losing streak including three straight to the Mets has the Phillies now clinging to a 1.5 game lead over Atlanta and 2 game lead over the Mets.

This is a big stretch for the Phillies. They start a series in Florida tonight against the Marlins and then head to Atlanta to take on the Braves. They will no longer be in first place if they don't fix some things in a hurry over these next six games.

Florida has been playing fairly well and stand three games behind the Phils. Tonight, Kyle Kendrick (2-2 5.66) opposes Chris Volstad (3-5 4.31). Volstad is riding a three-game losing streak while Kendrick is coming off a bad outing against Boston.

Saturday night is the prize fight. Roy Halladay (6-3 2.22) faces Josh Johnson (5-1 2.43) in a clash of the aces. Both dominant righties have been excellent this season. Halladay hasn't received much run support his last few outings and is coming off his first bad start of the season against the Red Sox. Look for him to bounce back in a big way. Hopefully the Phils can scratch a few runs across the plate for him. If they do, expect a big game from 'Doc'.

Of course the Phillies couldn't play a series against Florida without throwing Jamie Moyer (5-4 4.55). He'll pitch Sunday against Anibal Sanchez (4-2 3.23). Sanchez has allowed two runs or less in seven consecutive starts, a streak the Phillies will likely need to end to win the ballgame.

It's a big series for the Phils. The bats need to heat up in Florida and hopefully a run or two could turn things around for the team.

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