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Philadelphia Phillies (47-41) at Chicago Cubs (40-50)
Joe Blanton (3-5, 6.41 ERA) vs. Ted Lilly (3-8, 4.08 ERA)
Last night was one to forget. Forget about it, and start fresh today.
Joe Blanton needs to get back on the right track. Now would be the perfect time to turn things around. Throughout his career, he has been a second half pitcher (4.33 in the first half; 3.99 in the second half).
With a solid performance today, Ted Lilly could raise his market value. The soon-to-be free agent has been linked to several trade rumors. Lilly has struggled in his last five starts, posting an earned run average over six. His career numbers against the Phillies are not pretty either, also with an ERA over six.
One positive from last night's game was Ryan Howard, who homered twice. Howard has received some criticism for his lower power numbers, but expect them to rise. Howard's on-base plus slugging percentage is .875 in the first half throughout his career. In the second half, it is 1.045! That's a major difference. This is the time of the year Howard really starts to heat up. Howard does have a home run in his book against Lilly.