You will hear plenty about how every game is important the rest of season, and you will hear that because it is true.
But if every game is important, yesterday's 5-2 victory over the Cubs at Wrigley Field was really, really, really important. Because had the Phillies lost yesterday, they would have arrived at Wrigley Field this morning with the chance of being swept. And you can't get swept this late in the season. You just can't. So now the Phillies come to Wrigley this morning with a chance to split, which I considered a success before the series started.
The Phillies received some good news today (maybe) when they learned that Carlos Zambrano won't pitch today because of dead arm (it's not really dead, it's just baseball talk for his arm being tired). Sean Marshall will pitch instead.
Marshall is 3-3 with a 3.52 ERA.
In five career appearances, including two starts, against the Phillies, Marshall is 0-1 with a 13.50 ERA (13 earned runs in 8 2/3 innings). He has pitched 2 2/3 innings of scoreless relief this season against the Phillies. But he allowed five hits and six runs in 3 1/3 innings in a start against the Phillies in 2006, and nine hits and seven runs in 2 2/3 innings in a start against the Phillies last season.
In the Phillies Notebook: Brett Myers stays hot, a trade for Kyle Farnsworth (or anybody else) seems unlikely, Matt Stairs talks baseball and hockey and Pat Gillick and Gregg Clifton talk about the Phillies releasing Kris Benson.
In The Inquirer's Sunday baseball column, Jim Salisbury takes a look at the wide open MVP race in the National League. Check out Extra Bases, too.
Hey, the Phillies are selling lots of tickets.