The Philadelphia Phillies and Atlanta Braves will close out a three-game National League East series Wednesday night at Turner Field.

Philadelphia Phillies at Atlanta Braves

The Atlanta Braves are 5-0 in Tim Hudson's last five home starts

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The Phillies look to regain the top spot in the NL East division, but will have to fight off the Fish to get there.

Florida Marlins at Philadelphia Phillies

Florida gained a split in the Labor Day doubleheader and has actually gone 5-5 over its last 10 games.  The Marlins earned a 7-1 victory in the first game to improve their record to four games over .500 for the first time this year, only to drop the second game and fall to 70-67 at the end of the night.  “It’s a long shot, but we’re going to keep playing hard,” Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez said about the team’s playoff chances.      The club is 4-3 in Philadelphia this season, but is trailing the season series 5-8 overall and own a all-time record of 131-149 against the Phillies.  Florida has a solid 32-28 mark against divisional foes this season (+360) and the total is 32-25 O/U in those contests.

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Two teams that are in the thick of the NL playoff race face off in a quick one-game series due to a rainout in May at Coors Field.

Philadelphia Phillies at Colorado Rockies

Philadelphia heads to Colorado to play a single game series due to a May rainout on Thursday night at Coors Field.  The Phillies followed a three-game sweep of the Padres in San Diego by picking up two of three versus the Dodgers in Los Angeles.  The team is 5-1 on its seven-game road trip and leads tonight’s opponent by 5 1/2 games in the NL Wild Card race.  Overall, the club has posted a fantastic 11-2 record away from Philadelphia since the start of August.  Their upcoming schedule of opponents has a combined .498 winning percentage over the final 29 games of the season and the Phillies will play 16 of those games at Citizens Bank Park.  Philadelphia started the month off with a 5-1 victory on Wednesday and the team has compiled a fantastic 35-21 record in September over the last three years (+190).

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The Padres look to bounce back after dropping the first game of a three-game series against the Phillies at Petco Park.

Philadelphia Phillies at San Diego Padres

Philadelphia picked up a 3-2 victory in the series opener over the San Diego Padres last night, as both teams see this matchup as a potential playoff series.  The victory snapped a four-game losing streak and moved the Phillies within two games of the Atlanta Braves in the National League East and into a half-game lead over the San Francisco Giants in the NL Wild Card race.  Overall this season, the club is 31-32 on the road and hitting .254 with 46 home runs and 251 runs scored in 63 games away from Citizens Bank Park.  Philadelphia is 8-6 as a road underdog of +100 to +125 this season (+300) and 36-24 in this situation the past three years (+1,660).  The Phillies are also a solid 53-38 in 2010 against right-handed starters (+500) and the total is 44-45 O/U in those contests.

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The Phillies are almost at full strength offensively and face off against a former teammate at Citizens Bank Park this evening.

Houston Astros at Philadelphia Phillies

Houston salvaged the final game of a three-game series in Florida with a 2-1 victory at Sun Life Stadium on Sunday afternoon.  The Astros now move on to Philadelphia where they have a 12-7 all-time record at Citizens Bank Park and a 26-16 overall mark against the Phillies since the start of the 2004 season.  Tonight’s contest is the fourth game of 10-game road trip against the NL East, as the club is 9-14 versus the division this season.  The starting staff has carried the load recently, posting a 2.54 ERA in the last 13 games, with the team compiling a 7-6 record in that span.  Houston is 34-55 against right-handed starters this year (-1,000) and the total is 44-41 O/U in those contests.  It’s also important to note the team is 5-8 as a road underdog of +125 to +150 in 2010 and a dismal 22-36 in this situation the last three years (-580).

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The Phillies have a chance of picking up their first-ever four-game sweep of the Rockies on Monday afternoon.

Colorado Rockies at Philadelphia Phillies

Colorado fell to 2-8 on its current road trip after a 4-3 defeat on Sunday afternoon against the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.  The Rockies have dropped to fourth place in the NL West standings and trails the Padres by 7.5 games.  The offense left 12 men on base Sunday and were 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position.  “You don’t put yourself in a favorable position when you strand 12 runners,” manager Jim Tracy said.  Part of the problem this season has been the lineup’s ineffectiveness with runners in scoring position and two outs, hitting .223 in the situation this season, which ranks 13th in the league.  Colorado is 19-16 during day games this season (+160) with the total being 11-23 O/U in those games.

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The Phillies find themselves in a great bounceback spot at Wrigley Field on Friday afternoon.

Philadelphia Phillies at Chicago Cubs

Philadelphia dropped a 12-6 decision to the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on Thursday night, which was the first game of an eight-game, eight day road trip.   Overall this season, the Phillies are 22-24 away from Citizens Bank Park (-520).  The club is now an even 6-6 for the month, after going a dominating 20-7 in July in 2009.  The Phillies are a disappointing 12-17 in day games this season (-1,310), which is far from the team’s 70-59 mark over the last three seasons.  The total in day games for the team stands at 17-11 O/U on the year.

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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 Phillies hope to bounce back on a national stage after allowing double-digit runs for the first time last night.

Philadelphia Phillies at Boston Red Sox

Philadelphia dropped the series opener, 12-2, to the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on Friday night.  Phillies SP Jamie Moyer allowed nine runs on nine hits in lasting just a single inning, suffering the worst start of his career.  “We can’t put our game together,” manager Charlie Manuel said.  “When we get pitching, we just don’t hit.  We haven’t been hitting at all and our starting pitching has been very good until tonight.”  The team is visiting Fenway Park for the first time since the 2006 season, as they are 6-12 (.333) here all-time.  The team is now 1-3 on the season during interleague play, with all four games coming against today’s opponent.  Philadelphia is a terrible 17-31 against the American League the past three years (-1,790), failing to produce a winning mark against the Junior Circuit since 2007.

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Something changes in baseball when the calendar turns to June. Through April and May we will often see players and pitchers post numbers that are far better than they were expected to, or teams that get off to shockingly good starts. By June, though, the season is a third over, and the weight of numbers and reality starts to weigh on players. Overachieving players start to come back to earth, and teams that are playing beyond themselves find that they just can’t do it anymore. June can be especially cruel for pitchers. By the time June dawns starting pitchers have faced many of their rivals at least once, and there is a large sample size of recent performances for opposing teams to scout before they face the pitchers. Good pitchers will still continue to be good pitchers, but those who are getting by because of unexpected or unfamiliar stuff aren’t going to get away with it anymore. Pitchers also have 10 or a dozen starts under their belts, so they are starting to feel the wear and tear of the season on their arms.

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