Felipe Paulino, RHP (2-11, 6.51 ERA) vs. Cliff Lee, LHP (14-12, 3.19 ERA)
Time: 7:05 p.m at Citizens Bank Park
Weather: Mostly Cloudy, 56
Twitter: Phillies Nation
Whew! After a September scare, the Phillies and their fans can both exhale; and hopefully enjoy these next four games. That said, there is still a lot to play for, like home-field advantage and a roster spot for some guys.
For Cliff Lee tonight will be a chance to fine tune for the playoffs and end the season on a high note. He has been inconsistent after an electric start since coming to the Phillies. In his last outing, he coughed up seven runs in six innings against the Brewers. After tallying that start, his 226 innings this season led all major league pitchers. Maybe Charlie Manuel will encore last night’s dramatic pitching change with Brad Lidge by pulling Lee earlier than usual.
The Astros meantime counter with 2-11 Felipe Paulino who has been the victim of poor run support (among other things) all season long. Paulino has a 8.37 ERA on the road and 8.42 at night which means another sellout crowd in brisk conditions might spell trouble for the 25-year old righty. He is mainly a fastball, curve, slider pitcher and has given up 120 hits in 92.2 innings this season.
As for the lineup, look for a usual starter or two to take a seat on the bench for the majority of tonight’s game. Charlie Manuel said he knows some of his players could use a rest. “I think I can do it. It’s not like I’m going to take three or four out of the lineup at the same time.” In the past five season, he has led the Phillies to an NL-best 217-143 record in the second half of the season – so he might know what he’s doing.
Your Gameday Beer – Imperial Pumpkin Ale
Happy October folks! One of the benefits of playoff baseball is that your beer stays cold at that game. A cold, but not frosty, pumpkin ale is a great way to enjoy prepare yourself for the challenge ahead. This hearty Pennsylvania brew come full of sweet nectar, spiced flavors. Have it with some roast beef and sweet potatoes. – By Brian