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Remote Luxury: Phillies at Braves, Sept. 20-22

Sept. 20: Phillies 1, Braves 4 WP: Jorge Sosa (13-3) LP: Cory Lidle (11-11)
Sept. 21: Phillies 10, Braves 6 (F/10) WP: Geoff Geary (2-1) LP: Kyle Davies (3-7)
Sept. 22: Phillies 4, Braves 0 WP: Jon Lieber (16-12) LP: Tim Hudson (13-9)

After taking three of four from the Braves in Philly last week, the Phils have evened the season series at eight games apiece. (Perhaps even more impressive, given how terribly they struggled against division rivals through the first half, the Phillies are now 32-34 against the NL East on the season.) The Braves have won four of the six games played at Turner Field, including a three-game sweep back in April when they outscored the Phils by a combined total of 21-3.

There's no Horacio Ramirez, whom the Phils have smacked around to the tune of 31 hits and 22 runs in 16.1 innings over four 2005 starts, this week in Georgia. Instead, they get three pitchers who have won a combined 39 games thus far, all of whom boast better ERAs than any Phillie starter. The Phils' offense has more than carried its share of the load during the team's playoff push; it might now be time for the starters--particularly Brett Myers, who's gone 0-2 with a 5.71 ERA this month--to step up. At least we get Jon Lieber, who's been superb this month (3-0, 1.73), facing Hudson in the finale on Thursday. For the year, Lieber is 8-5, 3.94 in 14 daytime starts.

Update [2005-9-21 12:14:10 by dajafi]: The Phils get Ramirez after all; he's replacing Smoltz in Wednesday's game. Three games in Atlanta--where the Braves are 48-24, the best home record in the NL--while the Astros visit bottom-feeding Pittsburgh and the Marlins see what's left of the Mets after their September death swoon. There'll be no backing in for the Phils.