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Preview Game 91: Phillies vs. Cubs

Kevin McGuireSenior Analyst IJuly 21, 2009

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 06:  Joe Blanton #56 of the Philadelphia Phillies throws to first base against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on June 6, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. The Dodgers defeated the Phillies 3-2 in 12 innings.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

Offense? Check.

Pitching? Check.

The Phillies had both covered last night in a 10-1 laugher at the expense of the Cubs, who had been making a surge in the NL Central. But the Phillies are continuing to roll as they go for their tenth straight win tonight.

Joe Blanton gets the start tonight for the Phillies. Blanton has only faced the Cubs once but he received a no-decision after 5.2 innings of two-run baseball last August. The Phillies lost that game 3-2. Blanton has won two straight games and has allowed one run in 14.2 innings in his last two starts.

For Chicago the pitcher on the mound will be Blanton's former Oakland teammate, Rich Harden. Harden was acquired by the Cubs last year in a move to put the Cubs over the top and become the team to beat. The Phillies traded for Blanton, also from Oakland, and that move actually paid off better for the Phillies.

Harden enters tonight with a 1-0 record over the Phillies in two career starts. He is also 4-1 on the road this year, which evens up his season record at 6-6. Harden has pitched just 80 innings this season but has racked up 90 strike outs. He has walked 36 batters.

The Phillies brought their home record to .500 with last night's win. The Phillies are now 23-23 at Citizens Bank Park and have won six straight at home. The Cubs are 20-26 on the road.

Phillies Record: 52-38
Cubs Record: 47-44

NL East Standings (Team, record, games behind)

  1. PHILLIES 52-38, -
  2. Braves 47-46, 6.5
  3. Marlins 47-47, 7.0
  4. Mets 44-48, 9.0
  5. Nationals 26-66, 27.0

Pitching probables: Blanton (6-4, 4.44 ERA) vs. Harden (6-6, 5.06 ERA)

TV: Comcast Sportsnet (Philadelphia)

First pitch: 7:05pm

Season Series: Phillies lead 1-0

7.20 CHICAGO CUBS Preview/Open Thread/Recap


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

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