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Philadelphia-Boston Preview: Can the Phillies Rock the Sox?

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Philadelphia-Boston Preview: Can the Phillies Rock the Sox?

The Red Sox have the Phillies’ number.

That first became evident when Boston ousted Philly in the 1915 World Series, and little changed once interleague play began over 80 years later.

The Phillies are just 15-22 against the Red Sox since their interleague dates began in 1997. Philly and Boston have met in interleague play every season except 2002 and 2007.

Back to the present…

After splitting four home games with the lowly Pirates and Cubs, the Phillies are bracing for another visit from their past and present tormentor—the Bean Town Sox.

For the fifth time in six years, the Phillies host their perennial AL nemesis. And this weekend at Citizens Bank Park, the Phillies will try to beat Boston in a three-game series for the first time in seven years.

The Phils and Sox have been two of the elite ball clubs in baseball over the past several seasons, but their head-to-head series has been brutally one-sided.

The Phillies have gone 4-14 against the Red Sox in their 18 meetings since 2004. The Sox are 9-3 all-time at Citizens Bank Park, and have averaged over 6.5 runs per game in those 12 contests.

It’s a good thing the Rays squeaked by the Sox in the 2008 ALCS. Otherwise, the World Series might have not ended as well as it did for the Phillies…but let’s not even go there.

The last time the Phillies beat Boston in a best-of-three series was way back in 2003 during their final season at Veterans Stadium. Let’s turn back the clock…

On Saturday, June 22, a slugging Phillies first baseman named Jim Thome tied the game in the eighth inning with a homer. He did it again with two outs in the 12th inning. Finally, Philadelphia’s backup catcher Todd Pratt ended a wild summer afternoon at the ball yard with a two-run walk-off home run that gave the Phils a stunning 6-5 win in 13 innings.

Todd who?

The following afternoon, Philadelphia’s brash 22-year-old starting pitcher named Brett Myers hurled the first complete game of his career, a three-hit shutout of the Red Sox in a 5-0 Phillies win. 60,960 fans filled the Vet that day, mainly thanks to the Mike Schmidt Bobblehead Figurine being given away free to all fans.

Grady Little was the Sox manager back then too, but Terry Francona has been Boston’s skipper since 2004. Over the years, Francona’s Sox have won all six of their interleague series against the Phillies. Boy, that baseball genius Terry sure knows how to manage against his former club. Either that, or he’s just been blessed with some really damn good players during his tenure…

Back to the present…

The Cubs’ overaggressive, brain-dead hitters were more than happy to hack away at Jose Contreras’ out-of-the-strike-zone pitches in the ninth inning of Thursday’s game.

But faced with a similar circumstance, the Red Sox will probably exhibit a little more discipline.

Then again, the Philly-Boston mojo appears to finally be heading in Philadelphia’s favor, if last week’s shocking Flyers rally against the Bruins in the NHL playoffs was any indication.

Hopefully, the good vibes remaining from that historic Philadelphia-Boston series have left the Wachovia Center’s ice rink and moved across Pattison Avenue to Philly’s summertime Money Pit.

The Phillies will desperately need all the good mojo they can get this weekend.  

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