The Phillies are back in action Friday and it’s just what the doctor ordered for a team that dropped back-to-back games in walk-off fashion, three games against the lowly Cubs.
- Celebrity deaths 2018: All the stars we lost too soon 45 Pictures
- 10 finalists for TIME Person of the Year 2018 11 Pictures
It’s early, so to assume the Cubs are an easy opponent is probably premature. But after three days against the high-powered offense in Texas, with Prince Fielder, Alex Rios, Adrian Beltre and the rest making things tough for the Phillies pitching staff, Chicago is a nice change of pace.
At Wrigley, Philadelphia will play three afternoon games, all 2:20 starts, and will have much less firepower to contend with.
The Cubs lineup is composed mostly of young unproven talent and some familiar faces from the NL East — Emilio Bonifacio and Justin Ruggiano — in the order.
This should give Phillies ace Cliff Lee the opportunity to settle back to his usual self after being roughed up for eight runs in Arlington Monday.
Philly also has the advantage of an off day Thursday, as opposed to Chicago, which played 16 innings in a loss against the Pirates Wednesday and had the series finale Thursday. They will have no rest before opening their ballpark for its 98th season. After the three day-games in the Midwest, the Phillies will fly home to prepare to open their park (for its 11th season) against the Brewers Monday afternoon. Evan Macy