The Philadelphia Phillies continued to struggle against National LEague East opponents this weekend, dropping two of three to the Miami Marlins. After clinging to a lead and needing a five-out save from Jonathan Papelbon Friday night for a 6-4 win, Cole Hamels failed to hold a lead on Saturday and the bats had nothing to offer against Carlos Zambrano on Sunday. Things certainly will be no easier Monday night with the Los Angeles Dodgers coming to town to start a four game series, with Clayton Kershaw taking the mound tonight for the visitors. Kershaw is the reigning Cy Young Award winner in the National League, and off to another fine start this season with a misleading 4-3 record but a 2.42 ERA.
Philadelphia's own Cy Young Award winner, from 2010, Roy Halladay is on the shelf for up to six or eigth weeks with a Grade 1/2 strain in the right latissimus dorsi (a back and shoulder inury). Having a pitcher of Halladay's elite stature is costly enough for the Phillies, who are struggling to stay in the mix in the division. Through two months of the season, and the first weekend of June, the Phillies have lost a series to a division opponent five times. Still, the Phillies have managed to have a winning record and are just 3.5 games out of first place (five games back in the loss column). It is far from devastating considering they have been without Chase Utley and Ryan Howard the entire season, and have received so-so production from Halladay and Cliff Lee does not have a win yet.