The Phillies’ Before and After Test

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Management Is Sending Messages to Franco and Herrera That They Expect More. Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images.

When the Philadelphia Phillies return, it will be in Milwaukee on July 14, and franchises with October aspirations will begin their stretch drive. Basically, the Chicago Cubs of the world pace themselves in the first half, and playing .500 ball puts them in a position to turn it up a notch. So, Double D, don’t let anyone fool you based on a contending team’s record after the mid-July hiatus. Because if they try to give a max effort for the entire campaign, they’d burn out in August.

Getting off to a solid start for the six contests against the Brewers and the Miami Marlins, the Phils will need to go at least 3-3. And if they sweep Miami, it could boost them to an extended run of excellent baseball and a winning record for July. But keep in mind, these red pinstripes had sustained runs in 2015 after the mid-summer intermission and again last April and May. Would you really mind, Double D, if they didn’t get the first overall pick in the 2018 MLB Draft? Be honest. But not too honest.

When it comes to the Brew Crew, they planned to rebuild, but they still have some high-priced veterans on the active roster. And they have an interesting dilemma: They’re in first place but the Cubs and the St. Louis Cardinals are closing in on them. Buy or sell? Presently, they are 25-23 at home and 21-17 on the road.

While the Fish have lost five of their last seven decisions, they are a .500 club at Marlins Park. However, they have already traded their shortstop and are willing to swap another regular or two; clubs like Miami aren’t waiting until July’s end. A Phillies sweep?

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