Phils Ready For March Into Atlanta

We can all thank the schedule makers for giving the Phillies a true chance to prove themselves against Atlanta once again. Just one week ago the Phightins took two of three from the Braves in dramatic fashion at the Vet, behind clutch hitting and persistent efforts from their pitchers. Philadelphia looks to gain more ground, and more momentum as they head to Atlanta for another crucial series.

The Phillies have just completed a testing stretch of 19 games against teams with .500 records or better, namely the Expos, Mariners, Athletics, Braves and Red Sox and the team came out of the home stand with a solid record of 11-8. On the heals of an exciting series against Boston which saw the team win perhaps it's greatest game of the year, a 13 inning marathon, after a dramatic Todd Pratt Home run, and two homers by Jim Thome, Brett Myers hurled a complete game gem on Sunday giving the Phillies a series victory for the third time in a row. Larry Bowa even said, "You can't worry about winning 18, 19 in a row, but what you can do is win every series to be successful" and that's just what Philadelphia is doing.

The road does not get any easier, starting tonight in Atlanta. The Phillies need to show that last week wasn't a fluke and that they have the weapons to compete with the Braves no matter the venue. The Braves have been very successful at Turner Field posting a record of 26-10. If the Phillies are intent on putting a dent in that record they will need to be on top of their game from the first pitch Tuesday night until the final out on Thursday.

Kevin Millwood's first appearance against his former teammates did not go well, to say the least. The Phils dropped that game 6-1 and Millwood didn't make it out of the fifth inning. He will face Russ Ortiz in the opener of this series, and perhaps his Phillies debut at Turner Field will go better then his first game against the Braves at the Vet.

The Phillies offense was on fire this past weekend, after performances like Saturday and Sunday, momentum sure is on the Phillies side and if they can continue their success, this will be a very productive series for the team. Jim Thome hit three home runs, included two back-to-back shots against Boston this weekend, one of his greatest power surges since joining the team. If his streak continues it will be a rocky few days for Braves pitchers.

Bobby Abreu proved that he can hit from any spot in the lineup, and Jimmy Rollins has been energized since moving out of the one hole. If both of these players produce, and the team can knock around Braves starting pitchers early and often then we may see a new team in second place in the division by Friday morning.

The Phillies will ride the momentum created this weekend and take two of three from the Braves.

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