The toughest part of the Phillies schedule begins at the worst possible time. It seems the offense is in the beginning of its annual slump and key injuries are starting to hurt the team. Still the Phils have a 3.5 game lead over the Braves and own the second best record in all of baseball. Starting with the Mets, the Phils play nine straight road games against NL East opponents. This is a good chance for the Phillies to pull away from the division but also a good chance for the other teams to gain ground.
May 25-27 at Mets
The Phillies have only played the Mets three times this season, winning two of three in Philadelphia. The Mets are in the middle of another disappointing season although I don't think anyone had high expectations for the team. Manager Jerry Manuel is getting closer and closer to being fired and Mets fans are starting to go after GM Omar Minaya like Phils fans got Ed Wade fired. Injuries to 2B Luis Castillo, SP John Maine, 1B Daniel Murphy, and SP Jonathon Niese have hurt the team. We're getting them at a bad time though, the Mets are coming off a series win over the Yankees and are also entering the important part of their schedule.
AVG: Jason Bay, .307
HR: Rod Barajas, 10
RBI: David Wright, 33
W: Mike Pelfrey, 6
K: Johan Santana, 49
SV: Francisco Rodriguez, 8
Tuesday: Moyer (5-3, 4.30) vs. Dickey (0-0. 3.00)
Wednesday: Blanton (1-2, 5.06) vs. Takahashi (3-1, 2.53)
Thursday: Hamels (5-2, 3.92) vs. Pelfrey (6-1, 2.86)
Prediction: Phillies win two of three
May 28-30 at Marlins
Like the Mets, the Phils have only played the Fish three times in 2010. Florida took two of three from the Phils back in April in Philly. No one is injured for the Marlins other than SS Hanley Ramirez who is day-to-day with a sore left ankle and still recovering mentally from his lack of hustle last week. They have been in second and third place most of the season and have won six of their last ten.
AVG: Cody Ross, .309
HR: Dan Uggla, 12
RBI: Jorge Cantu, 34
W: Josh Johnson, 5
K: Josh Johnson, 63
SV: Leo Nunez, 9
Friday: Kendrick (2-2, 5.66) vs. Volstad (3-5, 4.31)
Saturday: Halladay (6-3, 2.22) vs. Johnson (5-1, 2.43)
Prediction: Marlins win two of three
May 31-June 2 at Braves
The roadtrip wraps up in Atlanta, a team the Phillies are 4-2 against so far. LF Matt Diaz and SP Jair Jurrjens are both on the DL and will miss this series. The Braves were really struggling to start the season and sat in last place for a long time. They were expected to contend with the Phillies atop the division and they are starting to catch up. They've moved all the way up to second place by winning seven of their last ten.
AVG: Martin Prado, .306
HR: Jason Heyward, 9
RBI: Jason Heyward, 33
W: Derek Lowe, 6
K: Tommy Hanson, 58
SV: Billy Wagner, 5
Pitching Match-Ups all TBD
Prediction: We can't miss Lowe, Hudson, and Hanson...hard to say without seeing the matchups but I'll go with Phils winning two of three.