The Giants come into this series three games under .500 and in fourth place in the National League West and in a virtual ninth place tie with the Phillies in the NL Wild Card race. Over the weekend, San Francisco traded for another closing option in their bullpen when they acquired Latroy Hawkins from the Cubs. It will be interesting to see who will be the closer for the Giants this weekend.
Philadelphia enters this series coming off of the weekend which saw them take two out of three against the division leading Braves. Cory Lidle threw a solid game on Friday night, and Jim Thome notched his second home run over the weekend. This team had a nice stretch on the road, but now returns home where they are just 10-10 on the season.
In the first game Tuesday night, Randy Wolf (4-4) will make his 11th start of the season and be opposed by Brett Tomko (4-6). Wolf has struggled this season and has yet to find the key to consistency. His ERA stands at 5.07 and he has won just one of his three starts at home. Tomko hasn't been much better this season with an ERA of 4.05. Both pitchers will look to put in a solid outing against very inconsistent lineups.
The second game is Wednesday night and will find innings eater Cory Lidle (5-3) against Kirk Rueter (2-3). Lidle is coming off of a strong outing against the Braves and is quietly turning in one of the best seasons by a Phillie pitcher to date. He is going for his sixth win and is looking to further lower his 3.50 ERA. Rueter hasn't been quite as strong this season and it may be tough for him to contain the likes of Jim Thome and Pat Burrell who suddenly are heating up, not to mention Bobby Abreu who has been white hot for most of this season.
Moving day for the Giants will come on Thursday night when Jon Lieber (6-4) will look for his second win in a row, and be opposed by Brad Hennessey (2-1). The Phillies should be able to put up some solid numbers against Hennessey in the final game of this series. Look for Bobby Abreu to continue his hot streak and Chase Utley to have a multi hit game. Lieber should get the victory in this game.
Prediction: The Phillies should continue their recent streak of winning series and take two out of three in this one. Look for Jim Thome to usher in the month of June with two home runs in this series and for Bobby Abreu to continue to bolster his candidacy for a start in the mid-summer Classic.