The Phillies are hitting a putrid .236 as a team this season, second worst in the majors (ahead of only the Braves). They are also second to last in baseball in runs scored.
The fact that the Phillies are still hanging in there in the NL East is almost logic-defying. The Cubs could bring the Phils back to earth this weekend.
Last year, the Phillies’ only real highlight of a downright ugly season was Cole Hamels’ swan song in his final start with Philadelphia as he no-hit the Cubs at Wrigley Field.
This year, any sort of series victory (though avoiding Jake Arrieta, NL Cy Young favorite, is a good start) against the hot-hitting Cubs would be a highlight as Philly looks to recover after losses in four of their last six games.
Two struggling lefties will take the mound in a rare Friday afternoon matinee, a 2:20 start on CSN when Adam Morgan faces off against Jon Lester. Lester’s pedigreegives his team the edge in the pitching matchup. He looks to rebound after allowing six runs in 2.2 innings his last start.
In Game 2, another 2:20 start Saturday, the Phils will try and solve right-hander Kyle Hendricks, who has a 2-4 record on the year despite the Cubs and their MLB third best batting average and runs scored. The Phils send Jared Eickoffto the hill Saturday, another pitcher who’s record (2-6) doesn’t reflect solid pitching.
The finale on Sunday starts at the same time as the other two weekend games but is the only one the Phillies have the edge in the matchup of projected starters, Vincent Velasquez (5-1, 2.75 ERA) against Jon Lackey (4-2, 3.38 ERA).
Chicago has the most wins and best record (31-14) in all of baseball. Philly has a respectable 26-21 record, and are one game back of the Pirates for the secondNL wild card spot.