The Phillies departed after last night's loss to the Mets for Chicago, where the Cubs are waiting with baseball's best record at 83-50.
Chicago has won five in a row, eight of its last 10 and has an amazing 49-19 record at home. The Cubs have won nine straight series. It's the first time they have done that since 1907, when they took the first of their back-to-back titles.
Tonight, Cole Hamels (11-8, 3.20) faces the Cubs' Ryan Dempster (15-5, 2.85) in what should be a great pitching matchup. Hamels has won back-to-back starts for the first time since May 9-15. In those games, he allowed 12 hits and no walks in 15 innings and has a 1.80 earned run average. Dempster is 12-2, 2.66 in 16 home starts this season while holding opponents to a .209 batting average. In his last seven starts overall he's 5-1, 1.76. He's already matched his career high in wins (15-12 for Florida in 2001) .
Here are the pitching matchups for the rest of the weekend: Phillies RHP Joe Blanton (1-0, 4.03) vs. Cubs RHP Rich Harden (4-1, 1.47) tomorrow afternoon, RHP Brett Myers (7-10, 4.49) vs. LHP Ted Lilly (13-7, 4.23) Saturday afternoon and LHP Jamie Moyer (11-7, 3.81) vs. RHP Carlos Zambrano (13-5, 3.53) Sunday afternoon.