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Phillies-Cubs: Preview Game 90

Kevin McGuireSenior Analyst IJuly 20, 2009

NEW YORK - JUNE 11:  Chase Utley #26 of the Philadelphia Phillies on deck to bat against the New York Mets on June 11, 2009 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

The Phillies are happy with the way things are going. Will they keep up the momentum against some tougher competition at Citizens Bank Park?

Until recently, playing at home has been a detriment to the team. If not for an abysmal home record up through the end of June the Phillies could probably find themselves up at least 10 games in the division. Regardless, the Phillies have a nice buffer between them and the Atlanta Braves.

To keep the momentum going, the Phillies will hope that Rodrigo Lopez can rebound after a short outing. Lopez left his last outing early with inflammation in his elbow.

Lopez has had a pair of quality outings despite his injury and has helped keep the Phillies' starting rotation above water at the fifth spot. In his career against the Cubs, though, Lopez is 0-1 in one start, allowing eight runs on nine hits in just 4.2 innings—but that was back in 2007.

The Cubs will send one of the better pitchers in the league to oppose the Phillies' offense. Ted Lilly enters with a 9-6 record, but is riding a two-game win streak. Lilly leads the Cubs in strikeouts with 101 and innings pitched with 119. He is also coming back from some inflammation in his left knee.

The Phillies have had success against the Cubs' starter, though, as they are 1-3 against Lilly in his career. Lilly's ERA against the Phillies is 4.88 and his road record this season is 3-5 with a 4.66 ERA.

The Phillies have upped their home record to 22-23 and are looking to be at .500 for the first time in a long time. The Cubs enter with a 20-25 road record and a four-game winning streak. The Phillies have a major league best eight-game winning streak.

Phillies Record: 51-38
Cubs Record: 47-43

NL East Standings (team, record, games behind):

  1. PHILLIES 51-38, -
  2. Braves 46-46, 6.5
  3. Marlins 46-47, 7.0
  4. Mets 43-48, 9.0
  5. Nationals 26-65, 26.0

Pitching probables: Lopez (1-0, 3.18 ERA) vs. Lilly (9-6, 3.18 ERA)

TV: My Phl 17, ESPN

First Pitch: 7:05pm

Season Series: First meeting.

Open thread for the game will be posted at 6:30 p.m. Game recap will be up tomorrow morning.

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