J.A. Happ (8-2, 2.75 ERA) vs.
Javier Vazquez (10-7, 2.90 ERA)
Time: 8:05 p.m at Turner Field
Weather: Cloudy (60% chance of T-Storms), 79
Twitter: Phillies Nation
Ugh. Not good. Brad Lidge blew another game for the Phillies last night, and it’s a pill that’s becoming increasingly harder to swallow. Clearly, he is not the same pitcher of a year ago, and while Charlie Manuel will stick by his guys, how much longer will they allow him to fail in the late innings? In the 4-3 loss yesterday, Cole Hamels pitched well, but the offense could not capitalize with runners in scoring position, and in the end, Lidge did them in.
In today’s rubber match, J.A. Happ goes for his ninth win of the season, with all of the baseball world watching on National TV. Happ has been incredibly steady for the Phillies this year, and they can only hope that trend continues. A win today would put the Phils six games ahead of Atlanta, giving them some separation from one of the two teams chasing them. Happ is 1-0 in three career starts against ATL, with an ERA below three. The Braves bats could be in for a long day.
Javier Vazquez starts for the Braves, who has been their best pitcher this year. He’s also been a strikeout machine, K-ing 171 on the year, trailing only Tim Lincecum in the NL. Vazquez’s ERA also ranks eighth in the NL (although Happ sits sixth in that category). Opponents are hitting just .225 against him, and he’s allowed only 13 home runs. Vazquez will be making his 27th career start against Philadelphia, the most against any opponent. He is 11-7 with a mid-four ERA lifetime. So, the Phillies bats could be in for a long day, too.
As far as offense is concerned, there hasn’t been much in this series. Only 12 total runs have been tallied in two games between the teams, so if your searching for a high scoring game, Turner Field will not be the place to find it. Happ and Vazquez could provide one of those beautiful pitching match up’s that hard-core fans of the game long for.
Your Gameday Beer – Gouden Carolus Tripel
Today’s brunch beer is Gouden Carolus Tripel. Like most Triples you can tell right away this is a beer’s beer. The taste is complex: malt and alcohol yes, but it also hits you with hints of organey citrus. The pour is smooth and creamy and encapsulates every bit of the 9% ABV. This Belgian is fine by itself though really pairs nicely with a dish of Blue or Gorgonzola Chesse. – By Brian