The Phillies start their series with the Braves 7.5 games up in the NL East.
The Phillies welcome the Atlanta Braves to town tonight for the start of a three game series that probably would have been a lot bigger a month or two ago than it is now. The Braves have sat about eight games back in the NL East for a large part of the second half and currently sit 7.5 games back. However, the Phillies have three games in hand. Plus, over the last 10 games, the Phils have struggled a bit (at least by their standards) going 6-4, but the Braves have failed to capitalize going 5-5. So anything less than a sweep here by Atlanta means the Braves can basically kiss any hopes they may still have had about winning the NL East goodbye.
Unfortunately for Atlanta, the Phillies have yet to have been swept in a three game series all year and they'll be sending Cliff Lee to the hill tonight. Lee is coming off an incredible August in which he allowed just one run over 42 innings. His record was 5-0 with 0.21 ERA. He will be opposed by Derek Lowe, who has struggled this season with a 9-12 record and a 4.52 ERA. That said, Lowe has been better in his three most recent outings and has been generally good against the Phillies this year.
First pitch is at 7:05 tonight. Of course, there is a 90% chance of rain this evening however...