Originally posted on Phighting On  |  Last updated 8/1/11
By: Greg FrankOverview:After closing out a 10-game home stand in which they went 7-3, the Phillies will now embark upon a long road trip playing 10 games in 10 days, visiting three different cities. The first of those three cities is Denver, Colorado where the Phillies will play the Rockies for three games at Coors Field. The Rockies made some noise over the weekend trading their ace Ubaldo Jimenez to Cleveland for several prospects. While Jimenez was not having a year similar to that of years past (6-9, 4.46 ERA as of 8/1/11), when he is on his game he can be one of baseball’s best hurlers, and the Rockies have seen him when he’s at his best which is why the trade was a bit of a surprise. However, 10 games out of the division race they must see themselves as out of it, and a team like Cleveland, 2.5 games out in the AL Central, could use someone like Jimenez. So, the deal got completed and Colorado bolstered their minor league system while Cleveland bettered their team for the stretch run. As we all know, thePhillies made a move of their own over the weekend acquiring Hunter Pence from the Houston Astros in exchange for some minor leaguers Friday night. So, while the teams look different that doesn’t change the fact that for the next three days they will go to battle.Pitching:Monday night’s matchup features a couple of young guns. 23-year old Jouhlys Chacin toes the rubber for Colardo. boasting an 8-8 record with a respectable 3.50 ERA on the season. Cole Hamels, 27, goes for the Phillies. Hamels is having one of the best seasons of his young career as he has posted a 12-6 record to go with a 2.61 ERA so far in the 2011 campaign. While this would figure to be a low scoring affair, at Coors Field, one of the more hitter-friendly ballparks in Major League Baseball, there still may be some unexpected offense from unlikely sources. Tuesday night’s pitching matchup features Kyle Kendrick and Aaron Cook. Cook (2-5, 5.05 ERRA) has struggled this year despite being an All Star in 2008. To close out the series Wednesday the Phillies will send Roy Halladay to the mound whileColarado counters with Jason Hammel.Hitting:The Phillies swung the bats well over the weekend against Pittsburgh. Scoring 23 runs in three games, as the Phillies won three straight. Friday night it seemed as if everyone contributed en route to a 10-run outburst. Saturday belonged to Ryan Howard as he was 4-4 with a walk, and a triple shy of thecycle. Sunday was all about Raul Ibanez and his two homers and a later walk off in the bottom of the 10th. If different players continue to contribute then expect the Phillies to score some more runs especially in the previously mentioned, hitter-friendly Coors Field. Coming off a series victory in San Diego this weekend, the Rockies displayed some inconsistent, yet good offense. They scored three runs Friday in a 3-2 victory, and then broke out for ten Saturday night in a victory, only to fall 8-3 in the final game of the series. They do have some guys in their lineup that can do some serious damage, including veteran Todd Helton hitting .311 this year, as he always seems to be over 300. Not to mention electrifying shortstop Troy Tulowitzki. So, we might see some runs especially in that Tuesday night game between Cook and Kendrick.Recap:While Colorado has made the postseason two of the last four seasons, it doesn’t look like they’ll be making a run this year and the Jimenez trade confirmed that. However, that doesn’t mean they aren’t dangerous. As mentioned they have some bats that in the order that can pose problems, Chacin is a young up and coming talent, and Huston Street is still clutch for them in the back end of the bullpen. While the Phillies are coming off a good home stand, nothing’s going to come easy on this road trip. Iexpect three hard fought games in the Mile High City.
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