NL East Outlook

Posted by Corey Seidman, Mon, June 28, 2010 02:41 PM | Comments: 21

As the Phillies sprint toward the All-Star break, the team currently finds itself in third place in the surprisingly competitive NL East, at 40-33.

On Monday night, the Phils will begin a seven-game road trip that takes them to Cincinnati for three, then Pittsburgh for four.

The Phillies lineup has really turned it around following a slumpalicious few weeks from May 18-to-June 12, sporting a 9-4 record and scoring 6.3 runs per game since the latter date. The hitting should continue in the friendly confines of Great American Smallpark.

The Competition

  • While the Phils will travel for seven games in seven days against the NL Central, the Braves begin a six-game homestand Monday night against the Washington Strasburgs. After three with the Nats, Atlanta follows with an off-day, then three more versus the Marlins.
  • The Mets have a full week ahead, as they travel to Puerto Rico for three with the Marlins, then to Washington for four with the Nationals.

(After facing the Pirates, Indians, White Sox, and Royals, Stephen Strasburg will face two division rivals in one week – he’ll do battle with Tim Hudson Monday night, before taking on R.A. Dickey and the Mets on Saturday afternoon.)

The Braves have come back to earth a bit, losing four of six, with one of the two wins – game two vs. Detroit – being given to Atlanta by an admitted mistake from home plate umpire Gary Cederstrom.

Success on the Purview?

The Phillies, a team that should go 5-2 at the very least during this road trip, are only 2 1/2 games behind Atlanta. The teams will meet for a three-game series at Citizens Bank Park from July 5-7, so a return to first place could be on the horizon if the Phils play up to expectations.

The pitching matchups for the next seven days are as follows:

  • Mon: Kyle Kendrick vs. Johnny Cueto
  • Tues: Joe Blanton vs. Mike Leake
  • Wed: Roy Halladay vs. Aaron Harang
  • Thurs: Cole Hamels vs. Daniel McCutchen
  • Fri: Jamie Moyer vs. Ross Ohlendorf
  • Sat: Kyle Kendrick vs. Paul Maholm
  • Sun: Joe Blanton vs. Jeff Karstens

Let’s scout the opposing pitchers:


  • The last time Cueto faced the Phillies, he allowed nine runs in 2/3 of an inning in a 22-1 Phillies win.
  • Leake, an impressive rookie, does not have the look of a pitcher that will shut the Phils down. He is 5-1 with a 2.92 ERA, but he has allowed plenty of baserunners (1.41 WHIP) and been aided by a high left on base percentage – Leake has stranded over 80% of baserunners while the MLB average is 71% this season. It is not as if Leake possesses some superhuman ability to make hitters strand runners in scoring position, so his return to the norm would come at a welcome time this Tuesday.
  • Harang has been semi-effective of late, but honestly has not been good since 2007. He, too, allows a ton of baserunners and surrenders far too many homers.


  • Of the four opposing pitchers, three are #6 starters – pitchers that would not currently be in the rotations of 3/4 of major league teams.
  • The lone lefty, Paul Maholm, has an impressive history vs. the Phillies. In six starts, Maholm is 3-1 with a 3.29 ERA. The Phillies have hit a paltry .245/.313/.384 vs. the southpaw.

At the sake of jinxing things, six of the next seven games look very favorable for the Phillies. The Reds, a JV-version of the Phils, do not match up well with our boys.

And despite the Phillies’ lack of recent success in Pittsburgh, three of the four opposing pitchers, for lack of a better term, blow hammer.

Let’s go Phils!

Avatar of Corey Seidman

About Corey Seidman

Corey Seidman has written 210 articles on Phillies Nation.

Corey is Analysis Editor for Phillies Nation and also writes for CSNPhilly.com.

  • Posts: 0 Karch Saruna

    Dude, stop saying “blow hammer.” You use that phrase WAY too much.

  • [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by iPhillySports, Corey Seidman. Corey Seidman said: Just posted to @PhilliesNation, an NL East Outlook, as well as scouting reports on the upcoming opposing pitchers http://tinyurl.com/24v9db6 [...]

  • Posts: 312 Corey Seidman

    Avatar of Corey Seidman

    That was the first time I’ve ever used that phrase in a Phillies Nation post. Weird.

  • Posts: 0 Bob in Bucks

    Corey –

    While I am hoping for continuing good games I think you are blowing off the Reds a little too easily. They are leading the Central division and have a better record than the Phils. Cueto is 7-2 this year with an ERA under 4. Referring to the blowout from the past does not give credit to a pitcher doing very well this year.
    Phils always have a hard time in Pittsburgh – don’t know why. Best I can say about this trip is that there are few lefties.

  • Posts: 312 Corey Seidman

    Avatar of Corey Seidman

    No doubt, Cueto is having a solid (if up-and-down) season. Wasn’t writing him off, just giving a friendly reminder of what happened last time.

    Of the seven pitchers the Phillies will face this week, Cueto has the best stuff, but he has the feel of a pitcher the Phils will hit. The Phillies notoriously struggle with crafty guys, Paul Maholm-types, while hitting against pitchers with plus-stuff rarely seems to be a problem.

  • Posts: 1435 Pat Gallen

    Avatar of Pat Gallen

    Not sure you could use the phrase “Blow Hammer” enough. It’s top notch…

  • Posts: 0 TBOH

  • Posts: 0 PaulyPizza

    winning streak = playing the Pirates!

  • Posts: 0 shag beta sigma delta

    I think this weeks first three games will be a good test for the offense, and actually the Reds to see if they are real. I think the bats are coming alive, it does look like Jayson’s new found batting stance is still prone to some 0 fers, but that he is just a streaky hitter that is all there is too it. They have been hitting the ball hard, even when they are outs, especilly Chase seems to have found his stroke again. I think this road trip will also be a good test for the starters to see if they can keep up the good work they have been doing as of late. Like to see Cole bounce back and big Joe have another solid start, that would go a long way in convincing me that this team is ready to turn it on in the second half

  • Posts: 0 shag beta sigma delta

    1 thing I would like to say about Sunday’s game, I was there drove from Vermont Saturday to go Sunday then back home Sunday night. I know it was hot and a blow out, and it was just Toronto. But really fans you can not stay another 1/2 hour after being in the sun for 3 already. I felt like I was in LA people leaving in the 7th inning. I do not ever remember the stands being so empty. at the end of the game. I just do not get it. The one saving grace was the 7-8-9 year old girl sitting behind us, begging her parents to stay and watch the last three outs. “Come on Mom, it is only three more outs PLEEEEEASEEEEEEEE” Now that is a Phillies fan in the making. I stayed sang with HK left got on the Subway and then drove 61/2 hours home and back to work today. So all you people who live down there stay and watch the game

  • Posts: 0 Chris.I

    MLB Trade rumors just posted an article about the Phillies looking for starting pitching depth. http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2010/06/phillies-prioritizing-starting-pitching-depth.html

  • Posts: 0 TBOH

    I’d be more concerned with having a consistent bat to come off the bench than a starter right now. Probably also some solid reliever to take the “Baez” out of life.

  • Posts: 0 Phan in the outfield

    shag beta: Werth said he’d watched vid from when he was hitting well and his stance was more open. He sure wasn’t prone to K’s then. So he opened his stance again and he began hitting again. Great. Then he went 0 – 3 in the 2nd game against the Jays. I watched him in particular yesterday (3rd Jays game) and he’d closed his stance again! I thought Milt Thompson would tell him, or Werth would think of it, but obviously nobody said anything and he didn’t change it and he went 0 – 3 again. His fielding was stellar, just amazing. But puhleeze – I hope somebody said ‘Open your stance’ on the flight to Cincy. It’s Victorino who is inconsistent. He’s really up one day, down the next. Never know what to expect from him.

  • Posts: 0 mike

    i say the phillies go 4 -3 taking 1 from cin and 3 from pittt

  • Posts: 0 Phan in the outfield

    Re: The pitching trade rumors — Fausto Carmona? The same one the Phils beat to death the other day? Uhhh, thanks but we already have a Baez, thank you very much. And Brett Myers? Didn’t he just beat (his wife) his way to Houston where he’s doing well for them? Let him stay there.

  • Posts: 0 psujoe

    I’d take Meyers at the right price, but I’d prefer Oswat if the stros pick up half his 2011 contract.


    Phillies are going 5-2 over the next 7. They’re back.

  • Posts: 0 Bruce

    I have always remind myself that what one reads on MLB trade RUMORS is 90% trash. So I give very little attention to it. I know the young generation eats up those rumors with the same appetite they have for baseball fantasy game statistics. :-)

  • Posts: 0 MikeB.

    Remembering the disaster in Pittsburgh last year when the Phillies dropped 3 out of 4 games and barely hung on to win the 1 game that they did win. Will be fine if they put some runs on the board like they have been doing lately but if I remember correctly, the Pirates came from behind late in the games to win close, low-scoring contests. Do not let Baez pitch there (or anywhere for that matter).

  • Posts: 312 Corey Seidman

    Avatar of Corey Seidman

    MLB Trade Rumors is actually one of the best sources of information, if not the best. It is much more trustworthy than even ESPN.com, a site that prides itself on being right.

    The only times MLBTR fails is when beat reporters or national baseball writers hand out false or loosely given information.

  • Posts: 0 big pelf

    you should be more worried about the mets than the braves. we are about to get beltran back and also pick up a top of the line starter. be afraid.

  • Posts: 0 dengxixian

    this is very much click here

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