Roy Looks to Start Your Weekend Off Right

Roy Looks to Start Your Weekend Off Right

It's going to be another one of those action packed Philadelphia sports weekends. Head to your local beer distributor and plan accordingly.

Things start out light and easy tonight with Roy Halladay throwing at Citizens Bank Park to kick off the Fightins four-game set with the Chicago Cubs. Then things really get busy tomorrow with the Sixers kicking off their Eastern Conference Quarterfinals series against the Bulls in Chicago at 1:00 p.m. on CSN. Then later in the evening both the Phils and Union are in action. Then Flyers wrap things up with the opening game of their Stanley Cup playoff series with the New Jersey Devils on Sunday after another Phils appetizer to start the day.

It's left-hander Paul Maholm (1-2, 8.36) against Roy Halladay (3-1, 1.50) this evening in what looks like could be a chilly Citizens Bank Park. Kulp took a look at the 6-13 Cubs earlier in the day, so go read that for a quick primer.

Stock the fridge. Tip your bartenders. Go team.

7:05 first pitch tonight. Dress warm.

Charlie's lineup: 1. Pierre, 2. Polanco, 3. Rollins, 4. Pence, 5. Victorino, 6. Wigginton, 7. Ruiz, 8. Galvis, 9. Roy

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Encouraging Game Note: BAT TO LIFE?: Over their last three games (2-1), the Phillies are hitting .327 (36-110) with 13 extrabase hits (7 2B, 3B, 5 HR) and have scored 20 runs (6.7 runs/game) ... In that same span, the Phils are hitting .435 (10-23) with runners in scoring position ... Through the first 16 games of the season, Philadelphia hit .239 (129-540) with 27 XBH (19 2B, 3B, 7 HR), scored a total of 43 runs (2.7 runs/game) and batted .219 (28-128) with RISP.

Shocker: Phillies interested in getting one of baseball's best players

Shocker: Phillies interested in getting one of baseball's best players

We're all looking forward to the free-agent class of 2018.

If Maikel Franco doesn't shape up, the Phillies could make a hard push for Manny Machado. Franco after a two-game benching is back in the lineup for this afternoon's game against the Rockies (see story).

Then, of course, there's Bryce Harper, who earlier this month agreed to a one-year, $21,625,000 deal for next season. 

And guess what? If Harper becomes a free agent after next season, the Phillies would be interested in signing him.

Really?

According to a FanRagSportsNetwork, citing a Phillies source, the Phils would be interested luring Harper to Philly.

Shocker. 

It'd be big news if a Phillies source said the team wasn't interested in signing Harper. 

Anyway, the story also quotes a National League scout.

“Could you imagine what he could do in that ballpark playing 81 games a year in that bandbox?” the scout said.

Chances are every Phillies fan has already imagined it. Harper this season alone is hitting .351/.400/.784 with five homers and 12 RBIs in nine games against the Phils. In three games at the Bank, he's hitting just .250 with a homer and two RBIs.

But in 38 career games at CBP, he's hitting .296/.361/.627 with 12 home runs and 26 RBIs.

In 89 career games against the Phillies, he's hitting .282 with 20 homers and 54 RBIs.

At the risk of stating the obvious, here's one thing to remember: If the Phils sign Harper, then he'd no longer benefit from facing them.

Today's Lineup: Franco batting cleanup as Phillies try to snap skid

Today's Lineup: Franco batting cleanup as Phillies try to snap skid

Well, this hasn't gone well. 

Coming into Thursday afternoon's game against the Rockies, the Phillies have lost five straight. They've lost nine of their last 10. They've lost 20 of their last 24. 

At 15-29, they're not just the worst team in the NL East. They're not just the worst team in the National League. 

Through 44 games, the Phillies are the worst team in baseball. 

Just to make it to a .500 record this season, they would need to go 66-52 (.559) the rest of the way. 

Their four-game series against the Rockies will mercifully come to a close on Thursday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park. In the first three games of the series -- all losses -- the Phils have been outscored 23-5. 

Maikel Franco returns to the four-hole as the Phillies try to snap out of their funk.

The Phillies on Thursday also activated right-handed pitcher Jeanmar Gomez from the disabled list. Gomez takes Adam Morgan's spot on the roster. Morgan was reassigned to Triple A Lehigh Valley after throwing three scoreless innings during the Phillies' 7-2 loss to the Rockies.

Gomez hasn't pitched since May 4 because of an elbow injury. He began the season as the Phillies' closer but was demoted after blowing two saves and allowing seven runs in his first five innings. In 11 1/3 innings this season, Gomez has a 7.94 ERA.

Here's the full lineup: 

1. Cesar Hernandez, 2B
2. Aaron Altherr, LF
3. Odubel Herrera, CF
4. Maikel Franco, 3B
5. Tommy Joseph, 1B
6. Michael Saunders, RF
7. Cameron Rupp, C
8. Freddy Galvis, SS
9. Vince Velasquez, P