NL powerhouses Phillies, Brewers open set
There is a very good chance that the Phillies and Brewers game series between Philadelphia and host Milwaukee.
The Phillies own the best record in baseball at 91-48 and are 10 1/2 games up on the Braves for first place in the National League East after sweeping a three-game set from its division rival. Their magic number for clinching the division is down to 12.
The Brewers, meanwhile, just lost two of three to the second-place Cardinals, but are still 8 1/2 games ahead of them in the NL Central and own a magic number of 11 to claim the division.
These two clubs haven't met since Milwaukee took two of three in Philadelphia from April 18-20.
The Phillies could be without a key offensive piece tonight after Chase Utley left Wednesday's 3-2 victory over the Braves with a possible concussion. He was hit in the helmet by a pitch and eventually left for precautionary reasons after complaining of headaches.
"The way to describe it, he didn't feel 100 percent after getting hit," Phils general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "He felt okay right afterwards, then started feeling a little fuzzy. We took the precaution to get him out of the game."
The injury overshadowed a thrilling win after pinch-hitter Ross Gload hit a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the ninth for his first RBI since July 17.
"For me it's huge," Gload said. "I haven't had many of anything so I struggled pretty good. I'll take it. It's big for me, but it's bigger for the team."
The victory left Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel one win shy of matching Harry Wright (636) for second place on the club's all-time list.
Brewers manager Ron Roenicke, meanwhile, will try to get his club turned around after managing just four hits in a 2-0 loss to the Cardinals on Wednesday. Zack Greinke (14-6) was charged with both runs and eight hits over seven innings in defeat, while Corey Hart went 0-for-4 to end his 18-game hitting streak.
"We just need to go back and play good baseball, start swinging it," Roenicke said.
Milwaukee will take its swings tonight against Cole Hamels, who has not factored into the decision of two starts since returning from a short stay on the disabled list due to left shoulder inflammation.
The Philadelphia southpaw gave up three runs over seven innings at Florida on Saturday, yielding a pair homers while striking out seven. He is 13-7 with a 2.63 earned run average on the year.
Hamels did not face the Brewers back in April and the 27-year-old is 4-2 against them lifetime with a 3.66 ERA.
Milwaukee counters with its own lefty in Chris Narveson, who is 4-0 in his past seven appearances. He has allowed more than three runs just once in that span and beat the Astros on Saturday after yielding two runs on four hits and four walks over five innings.
The 29-year-old is 10-6 with a 4.26 ERA this season and 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA in two career meetings with the Phillies.