Who's ready for some more INTERLEAGUE ACTION?!!!
Nobody? Oh well...
At least it's the good kind of interleague action. The kind in an American League ballpark.
Boston takes on Philadelphia again as the slumping Phillies will come into Fenway to try and get back on track against a Red Sox team coming off a disappointing split against the Indians. We're not so far removed from our last series against the Phils in late may, so you would think that much of this would still hold true. And I'm sure some of it does. But what's more interesting is what's been going on in June.
You see, the Phillies haven't really recovered since the Red Sox took them out in May, going 5-10 since then. While the pitching hasn't been outstanding (instead of being one of the top five staffs like they were before the last series, Philidelphia's pitchers have been entirely middle-of-the-pack in June in pretty much every stat), it's the offense that's really failed them. In June, the Phillies bats have gone quiet, managing only a .303 wOBA.
Notably absent are the bats of Chase Utley (.172/.306/.207 in June), Carlos Ruiz (.211/.348/.211), and Jayson Werth (.125/.276/.292). While Ryan Howard, Shane Victorino, and Placido Polanco have been doing their best to carry the team, there's just no replacing three middle-of-the-order bats.
Pitching wise, the Red Sox will send their inconsistent bottom three against Jamie Moyer, Joe Blanton, and Cole Hamels. Cole Hamels is definitely the best of the trio, and could give the Red Sox plenty of trouble if he's on. Jamie Moyer is still somehow managing to get outs against Major League hitters despite being just this side of 50. If there's one guy on the staff the Sox should beat up on, it's Blanton, but we've seen how reliable they are in these situations recently.
Otherwise, not much has changed since May. Other than the fact that the Sox can't afford to be losing any series against good teams after splitting them against bad teams. They've cut their own work out, now it's time to go and get it done.