The Philadelphia Phillies begin a four game series against the Chicago Cubs looking to jump-start their sputtering offense (3 runs or fewer in 7 of 8 games). They picked a good team to do it against. The Cubs are ranked dead last in team ERA. "We definitely have to get more offense than we've been getting," manager Charlie Manuel said. The Phillies finally broke their 65 1/3 inning home run drought with a Ryan Howard home run. By no means a convincing blast, Howard lifted a soft fly ball just over the right field wall. The Phillies rank 22nd in the league in slugging percentage, defined by total bases divided by at bats. The Cubs arrive in Philadelphia amid controversy. Carlos Zambrano, always outspoken, ripped teammates for playing like a "Triple A team", describing it as "embarrassing". He singled out Carlos Marmol specifically for his inability to close out games, especially the ones he pitches in. The Phillies come into the series with a 37-25 record, tied for the best in MLB. The Cubs are 24-36, 5th in the NL Central. The Cubs are licking their wounds, with three key regulars currently on the DL. Phillies fans won't have to worry Alfonso Soriano, Aramis Ramirez or Marlon Byrd, all former All-Stars. Jimmy Rollins, who hasn't started since June 4th, returns to the lineup tonight. Pitching Matchups: Kyle Kendrick (3-4, 3.78) vs. Randy Wells (1-1, 5.74) Kendrick has been mediocre during his last two starts, compiling on 8 IP and posting a 5.63 ERA. This is his chance to seperate himself from Vance Worley and allow Joe Blanton to be expendable. He doesn't seem have the corliones to grab this role and not let go. After a successful 2009, Randy Wells career arc has gone in the toilet a bit. After posting a 3.05 ERA in his first full season, Wells went 8-14 with an ERA well over 4. He's been dinged up this year and has done little to prove that's he's turned it around. Roy Halladay (8-3, 2.56) vs. Carlos Zambrano (5-2, 3.98) Roy Halladay continues his consistent pitching. He ranks 2nd in the MLB in strikeouts (behind teammate Cliff Lee), leads the league in IP and Wins and ranks 5th in ERA. He's a robot basically. Out of 46 total starts with the Phillies, he's given up more than 5 earned runs only 6 times. He's never pitched less than 5.2 innings. He's only pitched less than 7.0 innings, 5 times. Zambrano is on fire lately, in body and spirit. He's 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA in his last 3 starts. Both of those no decisions came from Marmol blown saves. While some think his comments were deplorable, it may have solidified his team. Cliff Lee (5-5 3.62) vs. Matt Garza (2-5, 5.07) On Saturday, its a battle of big name off-season aquisitions who haven't really lived up to expectations. Luckily, its still early. Lee is coming off a strong performance and a much needed bounceback win. He'd been struggling with his control lately, but was sharp Monday night, whiffing 10 Dodgers. Lee was able to get ahead with his fastball and his curve was working as an out pitch, biting hard and on target. Garza's biggest problem this season is that he can't go deep into games. He walks a lot of guys and usually only makes it out of the 6th. He cut down a lot on his BBs last season, but looks to be sinking back into bad habits. He needs to stay calm and let his stuff do the talking, rather than his histrionics. Roy Oswalt (3-4, 3.05) vs. Doug Davis (0-5, 6.38) Oswalt has lost four straight decisions and has not won a start since late April. He's fallen victim to the second offensive swoon of the season by the Phils' bats. He's been hurt a little this season (back) and has not pitched deep into games either. While the other Big 4 seem to always go 7 innnings or more, Oswalt looks gassed by the 6th and is usually pulled by then. Its a miracle that Doug Davis is still starting games, but they have no other option. The 35-year-old cancer survivor has labored the last two seasons and looks just about done. Musings: Domonic Brown is 1 for his last 11. May be time to give him a night off. He didn't seem comfortable batting second last night. Leave him down in the order. Michael Martinez needs to go. His Rule 5 status is buying him time, but its just not working. Give up Ruben, you made a mistake. Send Martinez back to the Nationals. Ryan Madson will most likely be the closer whenever Lidge is back. He's finally settled into the role.