Today is a big day for the Phillies.
First, they can win their third consecutive series with a victory tonight over the Cardinals at Busch Stadium. Second, Brett Myers can show everybody that last week's performance against the Nationals wasn't a fluke.
Last night's 2-1 victory put them in this position, and that shouldn't be lost. Joe Blanton finally pitched like the guy the Phillies hoped he would be when they traded for him July 17. He allowed just four hits and one run in seven innings to pick up the win.
"He was super," Charlie Manuel said. "That's kind of what our guys said he could do for us when we picked him up."
"It was nice to throw a good game, not only for me personally, but more importantly for the team," Blanton said. "We have two months left, and we have to get wins."
Blanton definitely needed a good start. J.A. Happ's presence on the roster -- Pat Gillick and Manuel continue to say Happ is a starter and not a reliever, despite the fact he's in the bullpen -- strongly indicated that Myers and Blanton were on short leashes. If either of them continued to struggle and failed to give the Phillies chances to win, Happ seemed poised to step in and take a spot in the rotation.
In the Phillies Notebook: the Phillies promoted Carlos Carrasco to triple-A Lehigh Valley.
In The Inquirer's Sunday baseball column, Jim Salisbury takes a look at some of the July wheeling and dealings. Also check out Extra Bases.