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Phillies and Astros to uphold tradition of sloppy midsummer baseball

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Anticipate a slightly more deserved sweep at the hand of the Astros.

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Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

The Astros: NOOOOOOOOOOO YOU SWITCHED LEAGUES WE DON'T HAVE TO DO THIS ANYMORE

The Phillies: Recent plans to four-game sweep the Nationals derailed with an 11-0 loss that saw the starting pitcher and manager ejected. The Phillies came roaring back the next night, however, with an impressive one-run loss, which is unarguably better than a double-one (or "eleven") run loss. Now, despite their move to the American league, the Astros are settling in for their yearly nonsensical sweep of the Phillies; a sweep that will be far less nonsensical now that the Phillies aren't leading their division by double digit games and the Astros aren't at the bottom of theirs.

Jonathan Singleton will make his Citizens Bank Park debut, but not in the way that we all dreamed, years ago. More like the way we nightmared, weeks ago, as the former highly-touted Phillies prospect is now an adequately-touted Astros player. He will be a big part of the future that the Astros are already charging their fans for.

It's been discussed ad nauseum on these pages how the Astros of the near future will be emerging from the howling terrors of Phillies fans' haunting visions from 2010-11. At least back then we had a big, goofy Hunter Pence to distract us from the chunk of the minor leagues that was traded to acquire him.

Until then, Houston, feast on yet another Jose Altuve profile while you wait. Or engage in some manufactured drama.

But the past is the past, and whether or not it causes us to awake in the middle in the grip of yet another sleep walking incident, in which we wonder into the kitchen and bang pots and pans together or wake everybody up unconsciously screaming "ORAMA NEBUR!!!!!" into the bathroom mirror, it's time to move on. And what better way to do so than by watching the last place Phillies play several mid-season games against the almost last place Astros. Don't worry, all of the thundering young menaces of the Astros' long awaited glory days will be healthy enough in time to throttle the Phillies.

Seriously, though, the team whose big trade deadline move was "hanging onto Chad Qualls" isn't in last place.

Seriously.

Heavy Hitters

Jose Altuve

The Astros struggle as much with hitting as I do with the typo "Astors." Three of their starters are on the DL (Though if you sign Dexter Fowler without anticipating an extended DL stay then probably a new job is in your future).

As one of only two starting Astors to play over 100 games this season, Altuve has made great use of his time, hitting .339 with an .821 OPS. He's almost exactly as threatening at Minute Maid Park as he is on the road and his league leading BA is matched by his equally league-leading stolen bases (43) and hits (154). You just sort of put Altuve on the field and watch him go. Surely the Phillies offense, incapable of providing their best pitcher with more than a single run, can outpace him. Surely.

Jonathan Singleton

Stupid Astros can't even hit their home runs out of the stadium! Ha! Ha ha! Do you ever feel like sadness is a parasite living inside you

Ben Revere

/confetti drops, party favors sound

Congratulations, Benny, on your 100th game played and your still-over-.300 BA! You are the future!

/grabs by shoulders and shakes aggressively

YOU ARE THE FUTURE

"How did you get into my hotel room?!" Ben Revere asks, horrified.

Also,

Probable Starters

  • Dallas Keuchel/Kyle Kendrick
  • TBA/TBA
  • Collin McHugh/Roberto Hernandez

Mmm-mmm is that a fine-looking pitching itinerary. You know, by not announcing Wednesday's pitcher, the Phillies are making Kyle Kendrick look better. Classy move by the PR staff. Can I get a 'Phillies PR Staff' shirsey?

"In at least one category, Dallas Keuchel is Clayton Kershaw's equal," this article says, in reference to Keuchel shutting down the AL-best Oakland A's with a complete game, 8-1 win. That's so crazy; when you back a great start from a pitcher, it can result in a dominant win. Huh. Who knew.

/makes wanking motion as Cole Hamels throws CGSO

Anyways, that guy really, really wanted to bring Clayton Kershaw into the comparison, but still, Keuchel is coming off possibly his best start of the year and has an ERA under 3.00. Good for Dallas Keuchel.

McHugh recently had some success of his own, but instead of great pitching, it was the improvement of his physical body so that he could be able to pitch at all. He missed time due to a "middle fingernail avulsion," which sounds like one of those injuries that makes old timey players roll their eyes and talk about the time they pitched 12 innings on 24 hours rest after losing their legs in the war. And then they see a picture of a middle fingernail avulsion and vomit into a tin bucket.

Editor's Note: SB Nation's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $18,000 Fantasy Baseball league for tonight's MLB games. It's $2 to join and first prize is $2,000. Jump in now. Here's the FanDuel link.