Jamie Moyer (2-1, 5.00 ERA) vs. Todd Wellemeyer (0-3, 8.16 ERA)
Time: 10:10 p.m at AT&T Park
TV: Comcast SportsNet
Weather: Cloudy with showers possible, 53
Yes, I know it’s April.
Yes, I know the Phillies are still in first place in first place in the NL East despite injuries, shaky pitching and an offense as fickle as the Dow Jones industrial average.
But for several reasons, this is a must-win game for the Phillies. You don’t have to be Keith Law to figure that out. Just take a look at who pitched for the Giants last night: up-and-coming left-hander Jonathan Sanchez, who held the Phillies to one run. Then take a peek at who the Giants are handing the ball to tomorrow: two-time defending Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum.
Teams want to avoid sweeps in any series, whether it’s April or September. And tonight the Phillies get a chance to pick up a win against Todd Wellemeyer, whose ERA is even higher than Ryan Madson’s 6.75 – which also happens to be Wellemeyer’s career ERA against the Phils. And if that’s not enough, here are the rest of Wellemeyer’s career splits vs. the Phillies: 0-2., 1.63 WHIP, .290 BAA, seven home runs allowed in 22 2/3 innings pitched.
As troubling as Monday’s loss was (after all, Roy Halladay has to settle for 32-1 instead of 33-0), there was one major bright spot. Shane Victorino went 3-for-5, including his first two doubles of the season, for only his second game of the season with more than two hits. No matter where he hits in the order, Victorino is an essential gear in the high-octane engine that is the Phillies’ offense; when he sheds his early-season slump, it will give the lineup a nitro boost.
One troubling thing that has emerged in the first month is the Phillies’ steep decline in steals. They rank second-to-last in the National League with a meager seven; the Nationals and Padres are tied for the most with 20. From 2007 to 2009, the Phillies stole 393 bases, behind only the Mets’ 460 in the NL.
LINEUP: CF Victorino, 3B Polanco, 2B Utley, 1B Howard, RF Werth, LF Ibanez, SS Castro, C Ruiz, P Moyer
Your gamenight beer: The very malty strong ale, Old Chub, is a Scottish ale that goes down very nicely. The can – it’s served in a can – has a nice kilt pattern on it. Couldn’t you imagine Jamie Moyer in a kilt? Go get ‘em, old chub! Have this with some beef barley.