The San Francisco Giants and Philadelphia Phillies continue their three-game National League Series Wednesday night at Citizens Bank Park

San Francisco Giants at Philadelphia Phillies

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The Philadelphia Phillies and New York Mets meet in a three-game series starting tonight between National League East rivals at Citi Field

Philadelphia Phillies at New York Mets

New York Mets OF Carlos Beltran has great numbers against Philadelphia SP Roy Oswalt

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The Cincinnati Reds and Philadelphia Phillies are ready to do battle in the second game of a four-game set at Citizens Bank Park

Cincinnati Reds at Philadelphia Phillies

Philadelphia 2B Chase Utley made his season debut Monday night

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The Phillies are hoping some familiar faces return to the lineup in an important three-game series that may go a long way in determining the NL Wild Card race.

San Francisco Giants at Philadelphia Phillies

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The Phillies turn to their ace in the opening game of a crucial NL East series at Citizens Bank Park.

Atlanta Braves at Philadelphia Phillies

Atlanta comes into this crucial NL East showdown two games ahead of the New York Mets.  The Braves won all three series of its recently completed homestand, but it ended with a 3-2 loss to Florida on Sunday.  The loss was only the fourth in Atlanta’s last 24 home games and ended the club’s three-game winning streak.  The Braves now must leave their MLB-best 30-10 home record and head on the road.  Atlanta stands at 18-24 overall on the road (-650) and is 93-111 away from Turner Field over the last three years (-1,330).  The offense will find itself in a precarious spot this evening, managing to bat just .232 over the last seven games and .249 overall on the road this season.  Opposing pitchers from the NL East have also held the Braves to just 3.5 runs per game within the division.

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The Reds are holding onto a slim divisional lead, as they host the two-time defending NL champs.

Philadelphia Phillies at Cincinnati Reds

Philadelphia dropped the series opener 7-3 to the Cincinnati Reds at the Great American Ball Park and may have lost second baseman Chase Utley for an extended period of time.  Utley injured his thumb sliding into second base in the fourth inning and declined to comment before undergoing an MRI today.  The Phillies find themselves with an even 12-12 record in June (-200), as they hope the turning of the calendar will produce better results.  Over the last four seasons, Philadelphia has posted a better record over the final three months of the season than they have over their first three, including a 54-34 mark in the final 88 games of the 2009 season.  The club is 33-24 against right-handed starters this season (+300), combining to hit .261 in those games (.259 in all games).

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The Yankees offense is firing on all cylinders and hope to get their star third baseman back into the lineup for the second game of this series.

Philadelphia Phillies at New York Yankees

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Aces are wild in a rematch of last year’s World Series tonight in the Bronx

Philadelphia Phillies at New York Yankees

Philadelphia stumbles into this rematch of the 2009 World Series with a discouraging 8-16 mark since May 17, which is the second-worst record in the National League over that span.  The offense has averaged just 2.5 runs per game over the timeframe, which is actually the worst in baseball.  2B Chase Utley will look to break out of a long slump, managing to produce just a .153 average and no home runs since May 20.  The Phillies have historically had problems during interleague play and its no different this year.  Philadelphia is 2-4 (-310) against the American League this season and 18-32 (-1,790) over the last three years.  The club is also a disappointing 5-9 (-1,020) against left-handed starters, after going 72-50 (+700) versus southpaws the past three years.

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On Friday, some may argue that the Subway Series deserves all the headlines.  Don’t mention that to the die-hard fans of these two clubs.

Boston Red Sox at Philadelphia Phillies

Boston picked up a quick two-game home sweep against the Minnesota Twins and now head off for a three-game series against Philadelphia.  The Red Sox finished with a losing 2-3 record on their last road trip against the Tigers and Yankees.  The team pushed its record against left-handed starters to 10-5 (+420) on the year with Thursday night’s victory and will get ready to face another tonight.  Playing the two-time defending NL Champions is certainly no picnic, but the Red Sox have destroyed the NL East in their last 51 matchups, going 38-13.  Phillies’ fans will be holding their breath during Interleague play, as the team is just 30-51 against the AL since Charlie Manuel took over the controls in 2005. 

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