Philadelphia Baseball Review - Phillies News, Rumors and Analysis
Phillies vs. Cardinals
The Cardinals and Phillies were both postseason teams a year ago, but it's becomng evident that only Philadelphia will see meaningful baseball this fall. 
The Phillies (69-58, 2nd place in NL East) took two-of-three from the Giants earlier this week and carry a 2 1/2 game lead in the NL Wild Card race into the weekend. Bryce Harper has been outstanding as of late, collecting a three homers in his last three games while hitting 12-for-26 with five dingers, nine RBIs, and nine runs over his previous seven appearances. 
"He's looking like the guy everyone in the league fears," said one rival NL executive. "If he keeps this pace up, that lineup can beat almost anyone." 
Despite the success at the plate, Harper is still battling with his health. He fouled a ball off his knee on Wednesday and was hit in the left forearm by a pitch later in the contest. He's also dealing with a sore back and will DH on Friday. 
Saint Louis (56-72, 5th place NL Central) has won just four of its last ten and enter Friday with the second worst record in the National League. The club had dropped six of seven before pulling out a win over the Pirates on Wednesday. 
Left-hander Cristopher Sanchez will start the opener for the Phils. He pitched well in his last outing this past Saturday, surrendering two earned runs over six frames against the Nationals. The Cardinals will counter in the opener with veteran Miles Mikolas. The right-hander is carrying a 5.89 ERA over his previous seven starts. 
Friday's Lineup 
Schwarber 7 
Turner 6 
Harper DH 
Castellanos 9 
Stott 4 
Bohm 5 
Marsh 8 
Cave 3 
Stubbs 2 
Sanchez LHP 
Depth Added 
The Phillies acquired outfielder Brewer Hicklen on Wednesday from the Royals for cash considerations. The 27-year-old was hitting .233 with eight homers and 15 steals in 61 games for Triple-A Omaha.

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Philadelphia Baseball Review - Phillies News, Rumors and Analysis