With no Schilling on the docket, eyes should turn to the offenses. And in the cozy confines of Citizens Bank Park, these two teams are liable to flip the scoreboard like an old-school pinball machine scorer.
No team in baseball has scored more runs than the Red Sox. And only the Rockies have a better home batting average than the Phils' .295 mark at CBP.
The Phillies will be venturing into unfamiliar territory Friday when they face knuckleballer Tim Wakefield. Despite playing the Red Sox in interleague action regularly, the Phils haven't faced Wakefield in the new millennium. Meanwhile, Jon Lieber will be facing a lineup he got to know all too well last season. Pitching for the Yankees Lieber was 1-0 with a 4.19 ERA in three starts against the Sox in the regular season, then pitched against them twice in the ALCS, beating Boston in Game 2 and losing Game 6.
The Phils will be more familiar with Saturday's starter, Matt Clement, whom they faced regularly during his days with the Marlins. On Sunday the Phils will go against a pitcher who nearly became the prominent free-agent addition to the starting rotation instead of Lieber - David Wells.
The Phils are hopeful that Vicente Padilla can return to the rotation Saturday after he was scratched from his start on Tuesday because of a sore neck muscle. However, considering how ineffective Padilla has been this season - he's 3-6, 6.23 ERA in 10 starts and has allowed a whopping 13 HRs in 47 2/3 IP - they might not mind coming up with an alternative plan against Boston. Keep this in mind: Both Brett Myers and Rob Tejeda had their pitch counts kept low in their starts Tuesday and Wednesday, so if the Phils needed them to go on three days' rest this weekend, at least they should be fairly fresh.