Thursday, July 15, 2010

Series Preview: Cubs VS Phillies

After three full days of resting up, the Cubs will return to the field tonight when they host the Phillies at Wrigley. They finished up the All-Star Break by losing three of four to the Dodgers this past weekend. The final game of the first half, a thrashing at the hands of L.A., perfectly summed up the frustration felt by Cubs fans this season.

The Phillies are in for four to start this ten game homestand. The Astros will come to town next followed by the Cardinals. The red hot Philadelphia club, who completed a four game sweep of the Reds with a 1-0 win on Sunday, will start the second half with eight games in the Midwest. The will travel to St. Louis at the conclusion of their series in Chicago.

The defending National League champs currently stand in third place in the East at 47-40. That mark puts them 4.5 games back of the over-achieving Braves. They haven't played very well on the road at 20-22, but teams can get away with a .500 road mark if they play very well at home.

The Cubbies are an example of a team that does not play very well at home or on the road. Their 20-23 home mark is not bad compared to their overall record of 39-50. With the loss on Sunday, the Boys in Blue dropped to fourth in the Central, 9.5 out of first.

Going into this season, most people didn't expect the Cubs to win the division, but nobody expected them to play as poorly as they have so far. Everyone in the organization is hoping to see a better product on the field in the second half. With the July 31 trade deadline looming, it's time for the organization to decide what direction they want to go in. Reportedly there are offers on the table for Ted Lilly, Ryan Theriot, and Xavier Nady. Management may want to see a few more games before they call for a fire sale, so it's important for this team to have a good series in order to keep the current roster intact.

Marlon Byrd is the lone Cub who can call himself an All-Star. He did a fine job of single handily representing the organization at Angel Stadium on Tuesday. He helped the National League to a 3-0 victory, the first time the Senior Circuit took a Mid-Summer Classic W single 1996. Byrd walked, scored, and made a terrific defensive play in the ninth inning. Byrd will take that momentum into this four game stint against his former team.

After managing the N.L. to a win on Tuesday, Philly skipper Charlie Manuel will try to get his club to roll over the slumping Cubs. Manuel's roster was staked with former Cubs last year, but now the lone ex-Cub is veteran pitcher Jamie Moyer, who will start game one of this series.

The two teams met at Citizens Bank Park earlier this season, a brief two game set May 19-20 that resulted in a split. The season series will conclude when this set wraps up on Sunday.

Starting tonight, 50/50 game day raffles will take place at Wrigley Field. One fan will win big at every home game the rest of the season. Proceeds benefit Chicagoland charities. Click for the press release from

Game 1: Thursday 7:05 CT
Cubs Starting Pitcher: Ryan Dempster, RHP (7-7, 3.61 ERA)
Phillies Starting Pitcher: Jamie Moyer, LHP (9-8, 4.51 ERA)
TV/Radio: WCIU/WGN Radio

Game 2: Friday 1:20 CT
Cubs Starting Pitcher: Ted Lilly, LHP (3-8, 4.08 ERA)
Phillies Starting Pitcher: Joe Blanton, RHP (3-5, 6.41 ERA)
TV/Radio: CSN/WGN Radio

Game 3: Saturday 12:05 CT
Cubs Starting Pitcher: Randy Wells, RHP (4-7, 4.61 ERA)
Phillies Starting Pitcher: Cole Hamels, LHP (7-7, 3.78 ERA)
TV/Radio: CSN/WGN Radio

Check Spelling
Game 4: Sunday at 7:05
Cubs Starting Pitcher: Tom Gorzelanny, LHP (4-5, 3.16 ERA)
Phillies Starting Pitcher: Roy Halladay, RHP (10-7, 2.19 ERA)
TV/Radio: ESPN/WGN Radio

The first game of this series is of the utmost importance. Setting the tone in a series has been critical for the Cubbies. Since May 21, they've gone on to loose every series where they've dropped game one and gone on to win every series where they've won the first game.

The key to a good second half for the team is bounce back performances from the stars (namely Lee and Ramirez). It all starts tonight...

so I don't care who wins as long as it's the Cubs!

No comments:

Post a Comment