The Phillies are looking to get their 10 game home stand off on a positive note by sweeping the stumbling Rockies at home. The fans in South Philly haven’t had much to cheer about this year, the Phillies have been one of the worst home teams in Major League Baseball this year and with the trade deadline approaching there are still questions swirling around the team and its future. For the moment though things have been on the uptick. Granted the Rockies are 1-11 in their last 12 games and are missing their best player, star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, but a series sweep is a series sweep and the Phil’s are on the cusp of their first since taking two in a row from the Cubs in mid May. In game 1 Cole Hamels won is tenth decision of the year, giving him almost a third of the Phillies wins and continuing his fantastic pitching. The question will soon become should the Phillies trade one of their three aces to gain more pieces at the trading deadline or should they hold on to him and try to sign him in the off season when he becomes a free agent. Perhaps they should consult the Orlando Magic, but in the mean time Hamels has been sensational and I would imagine most Phillies fans would prefer him to stick around, but with each victory and brilliant performance the price tag and leverage for Cole and his agent grows. Carlos Ruiz has been another bright spot for the Phillies. How this man is third on the National League All Star voting for catchers is borderline criminal, besides his always outstanding defense behind the plate and above average throwing arm he’s had a career year at the plate, batting .354 with 9 home runs, 38 RBI and an OBP of .422. Like Hamels he came up big on Tuesday night with a key double in the 5th and a homer in the 7th to seal the deal for the Phillies while Jimmy Rollins continued his hot play of late with 3 runs, 2 hits and 2 walks.
Wednesday night saw the Phil’s grab another victory taking advantage of a late error by the typically smooth fielding veteran Todd Helton to secure a 7-6 victory. This one got a little closer than it should have though, Jonathon Papelbon gave up a tie breaking single to Dexter Fowler in the ninth but the Phillies came back in their half of the last inning. The Phil’s were down to the their last out and it appeared to be all but over until off season acquisition Ty Wigginton singled which was followed by a double off the wall curtsey of Hunter Pence which drove Wigginton in. Carlos Ruiz was intentionally walked and Shane Victorino beat out an infield single. Placido Polanco then hit a grounder to short which should have ended the game. Marco Scutaro’s throw was a little high, but Todd Helton was able to snag it, the only problem was that he wasn’t touching first base. This sort of late inning rally based on timely hitting and a little luck are the types of victories the Phillies have been searching for all year. It could be a positive sign and possibly something that could kick start a run for the Phillies during their ten game home stand. One negative that came out of the victory is Papelbon. He is a perfect 17-17 in save situations with an ERA of 0.00. In non save situations, however he has given up 7 earned runs in 10 and 1/3rd innings, a pretty scary distinction. As the Phillies try and close the deal on a sweep tonight they may be able to use this momentum and hope they can get a good outing out of Vance Worley at Citizens Bank Park tonight.
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Written by Tom Bopp