Momentum hasn't really been the Phillies thing this season. They were red hot way back when the season started in April, but haven't been able to put extended winning streaks together since. They did win four ugly games against the Reds heading into the All-Star break but couldn't keep that rolling into the second half. The team has been playing good ball at home as of late, having won their five straight at CBP, their longest winning streak at the bank since July of 2009.
The Phillies come into today's afternoon game having won three in a row behind some impressive pitching. The combined score in those three victories was 18-2. Granted two of those stellar pitching performances were from Cole Hamels and Roy Halladay, but recently demoted Kyle Kendrick impressed on Saturday despite oppressive heat.
They'll look for a solid outing today from another guy you don't really know what to expect from as JA Happ will make his first start for the Phillies in over 3 months. Happ didn't return immediately from Lehigh Valley when he was eligible to come off of the DL and the brass seemed to think he needed a bit more work to get his arm back to where it was last season. Whether it's back or the Phillies called him up out of necessity once Jamie Moyer went down remains to be seen. That said, Happ hasn't allowed an earned run yet this season!
If the Phillies can get a win out of the freshly called up Happ, making the Fightins' winners of four straight, it could give this team the momentum in the right direction it has been missing for quite some time.
The bats have come alive a bit at home over the past few days and Raul Ibanez has said this type of hitting brought good energy to the clubhouse. "It felt like our club again," Ibanez said.
And they've been enjoyable to watch. Hopefully that can continue on this afternoon. Happ will face left-hander Jeff Francis (3-1, 4.63) as the Phils look to take the first three of the four game set with the Rockies before tomorrow's Business Persons Special.
First pitch is scheduled for 1:35. Drink lots of fluids.
Added bonus: Look for Sir Charles Barkley in the booth in the second or third inning on TBS.