Still hosting the Cards, trying to end a slide.

The Phillies (48-43) continue their three games series with the Cardinals (51-40, 2nd National League Central), with a night game at Citizens Bank Park. The game will begin at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will by rookie J.A. Happ (0-0, 3.86), who is coming off a recent no-decision against the Mets on July 4, where he would pitch four and two-thirds innings, giving up only two earned runs on three hits, in the Phillies’ 3-2 victory. He will be trying for his first major league victory while seeing if he will be able to pitch good enough to stay in the majors. The Cardinals will counter with their rookie Mark Mulder (0-0, 13.50), who is making his first start of the year, after spending some time in the bullpen. In his last appearace in the bullpen, on July 2 against the Mets, he would only go a third of an inning, giving up two earned runs on two hits. He will be seeing if he can do well as a starter, while trying to keep the Phillies’ bats quiet.

Speaking of the Phillies’ offense, someone among the players needs to lit into the rest of the team to get them out of their present funk. The offense has been acting like a sleepwalker for almost a whole month, and quite frankly, it needs to stop, and the only way it is going to stop is for one of the players to start acting like a team leader and get on the collective tails of the other batters. If this will ruffle some feathers, tough. This team is suppose to be better than this, and if they are waiting for someone to get a big hit, then they have been waiting too long. Someone needs to take command and tell the rest of them to get off their collective ***** and prove to themselves and everyone else in the league that they are the fourth best team in the National League and are a potent runs producer, instead of appearing to be a weak team that is playing a lot higher than they should be. Otherwise, they might as well start looking forward to another year of not being in the playoffs and a lot of really ticked off Phillies’ fans.

The Phillies lead is presently a game over the Marlins as they have just defeated the Padres. They are a game and a half ahead of the Mets as they prepare to greet the Giants. They lead the Braves by five games, as they plan to play the Dodgers later tonight. The Phillies hope to get the offense restared while trying to stave off both the Marlins and the Mets, two teams who they have allowed back into the pennant race because of their inconsistant play.

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