The Phillies will look to salvage a win in the series finale this afternoon, and avoid being swept by the Cardinals for the first time in almost 24 years. Last night, the Phillies dropped their fourth straight and are now a dreadful 1-6 since the All-Star Break. Ryan Howard accounted for the lone Phillies run with a solo HR in the top of the fifth. For the defending National League Champs, it was the 23rd time this season they've been held to one run or fewer. Last year, the Phils were held to one run or less just 19 times. Meanwhile, the Cardinals will look to extend their win-streak to nine straight.
Cole Hamels (7-7, 3.63) gets the nod today looking to improve on two solid back-to-back starts. On Saturday, Hamels tossed seven scoreless innings at the Cubs but took a no decision. Over his last two outings, Hamels is 1-0 with a 0.61 ERA. However, over his last ten starts, Hamels is just 2-5 despite allowing three earned runs or fewer in nine of those ten outings. A win for the Phillies won't come easy as the Cards send All-Star Adam Wainwright (14-5, 2.02) to the mound looking to complete the four-game sweep. This season, Wainwright is a perfect 10-0 at Busch Stadium with a microscopic 1.31 ERA. Last Friday, Wainwright scattered five hits over six scoreless innings against Los Angeles to extend his scoreless inning streak to 19 and record his ninth straight win. In addition, over his last 29-and-a-third innings, Wainwright has allowed just one earned run.
With each loss, the Phillies are slowly seeing their Postseason chances slip away. Last night's loss dropped the Phillies to 23-28 on the road with a matinee on tap for Thursday afternoon. In day games this season, the Phils are 14-18 with a combined .258 batting average.