The Phillies enter Monday’s contest having won seven straight series dating back nearly a month to June 21st. The probable starters for the series against the Cubs are Halladay, Cliff Lee, and Vance Worley who will face Lopez, Matt Garza, and Ryan Dempster.
Antonio Bastardo has been masterful on the mound this year for the Phils. He has done everything he has been asked to do including close games. Yesterday, Bastardo recorded his sixth save of the year but, also, gave up his first hit in over a month dating back to June 5th against the Pirates. The last time Bastardo gave up multiple hits, coincidentally it was also the last time he gave a run until yesterday, was May 25th against the Cincinnati Reds in the 19 inning marathon 5-4 win.
Phillies Rule 5 selection Michael Martinez had a day he certainly won’t forget yesterday. One week after going 4-for-5 with two runs scored against the Atlanta Braves, Martinez went 1-for-4 against the Mets and drove in a career high four RBIs. Most memorable, Martinez hit his first homerun of his career, a three run shot, in the fifth inning against Mike Pelfrey.
Phillies wheeling and dealing?
With about $3 million under the luxury tax, the Phillies do not have a ton of money to work with without going over the luxury tax. However, despite the financial constraints, the Phillies figure to be buyers at the deadline. Rumors have the Phillies interested in a bullpen arm first, then a right handed bat. San Diego seems to be the likely partner to deal with the Phillies. They have a surplus of bullpen arms that have been linked to the Phillies such as closer Heath Bell, reliever Chad Qualls, (not as much as before but) Luke Gregerson, and most talked about, Mike Adams. In addition to the plethora of relievers, San Diego also has a decent right handed bat to deal in Ryan Ludwick, who hit 37 homeruns in 2008. Some other right handed bats that have been linked to the Phillies are Royals outfielder Jeff Francoeur and A’s outfielder Josh Willingham.
According to Ken Rosenthal, the Phillies could swing a deal for Adams and Willingham and that would keep them under the luxury tax limit of $175 million.
It should be an interesting two weeks.