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Scary Week Starts Now

Call me a Negadelphian, but I'm worried about these next seven games against the Reds and Mets.

The big reason why, not surprisingly, is the pitching. Here are the likely matchups, starting with tonight's game:

June 26: Kendrick vs. Bailey (Phillies 11, Reds 4)
June 27: Moyer vs. Harang (Reds 9, Phillies 6)
June 28: Eaton vs. Belisle (Phils 8, Reds 7, F/10)
June 29, Gm1: Durbin vs. Hernandez (Mets 6, Phillies 5)
June 29, Gm2: Maine vs. Hamels Mets 5, Phillies 2)
June 30: Happ vs. Sosa (Mets 8, Phillies 3)
July 1: Kendrick vs. Pelfrey (Phillies 5, Mets 3)

Of those seven matchups, just one--Hamels Friday night--look like the Phils have the edge. Homer Bailey, tonight's Reds starter, is perhaps the best pitching prospect in baseball, and he's been solid through his first three starts (though 11 walks in 18 innings suggests the Phils would be wise to wait him out). Harang is a beast (6'7, 275 lbs) who's probably headed to the all-star game. The Mets' starters for the last three games of the series will be on short rest, so that's something, but Oliver Perez against Mike Maloney/J.A. Happ/who knows still looks like a big advantage for the guys from Queens.

It's going to be hot, and the ball likely will be flying out of CBP. (For this reason, I'm not sorry to see Kyle Kendrick, who has pretty strong groundball tendencies, likely to go twice.) The Reds have 108 home runs through 76 games (the Phillies have 84 in 75), led by Ken Griffey Jr. (21) and Adam Dunn (20); keeping guys off base ahead of those two will be crucial. The worse news here is that the Phils have been out-homered at home by a count of 57 to 46 in 2007--and this isn't a new phenomenon. Visitors have hit more home runs in each season since the ballpark opened: 121 to 112 last year, 107 to 94 in 2005, and 115 to 113 in the inaugural 2004 season.

Finally, there's the Mets. They stunk for most of June, but go into tonight's game against St. Louis on a four-game winning streak that includes two walk-off victories. Figure they're likely to take two of the remaining three against the Cardinals, and they'll come in with a big head of steam looking for payback after the Phils' sweep at Shea earlier this month.

If we take four of the next seven, I'll be pretty happy. Feel free to post game chat and observations here.