Philadelphia Phillies (22-13) at Milwaukee Brewers (15-21)
Cole Hamels, LHP (3-2, 4.53 ERA) vs.Doug Davis, LHP (1-4, 7.56 ERA)
Time: 8:05 p.m at Miller Park
Weather: Partly Cloudy, 56
UPDATE: Jimmy Rollins flew back to Philly today, fresh off a rehab stint in Clearwater. He could return tomorrow against the Pittsburgh Pirates here at home. Carlos Ruiz is also likely to return to the lineup when the Phillies return to CBP.
A word about Paul Hoover, before tonight’s game. At the time of his injury, Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz was putting on a show that he normally reserves for October, hitting .345 and leading the league in on-base percentage. When a team loses that valuable a contributor, it always hurts, particularly when his replacement is a career minor-leaguer with on 80 major league plate appearances to his name. But Paul Hoover has made the most of his cup of coffee, wielding a heavy bat in his first weekend as the Phillies’ starting catcher.
Hoover, in 11 plate appearances, has reached base five times and scored every time he’s reached base. He’s also tied his career high in doubles (1) and RBI (2). Now, this is probably an example of a 34-year-old journeyman having a good weekend, but it’s appropriate to recognize Hoover for his contributions.
The good times should continue to roll for the Phillies, who have scored 19 runs in the series’ first two games. Veteran lefty Doug Davis takes the mound for Milwaukee this evening, and while he usually wins double digit games with an ERA in the mid-4’s, 2010 had not been so kind. Davis is another Brewers pitcher who tends to strike out a lot of hitters but allow his fair share of walks. This season, his 8.6 K/9 ratio is balanced by nearly five walks per nine innings. This is the same approach that forced Chris Narveson to throw 130 pitches yesterday in only 5 2/3 innings, and the Phillies, particularly Chase Utley and Jayson Werth, can wait out pitchers like Davis and break open the soft underbelly of Milwaukee’s bullpen. If Cole Hamels is even remotely serviceable tonight, look for the Phillies to complete the sweep.
Tonight’s Lineup: Victorino (CF), Polanco (3B), Utley (2B), Howard (1B), Werth (RF), Ibanez (LF), Valdez (SS), Hoover (C), Hamels (P)
Your Gameday Beer – Milwaukee’s Best Light
I’d be remiss if we left Milwaukee without featuring a Miller product. Tonight, it’s Milwaukee’s Best Light. Beast Light is famous for sponsoring the World Series of Poker on ESPN and for allowing college students to make bad decisions on the cheap. Even in rotgut circles (think Natty Light, PBR, or Busch), Beast Light has a special reputation for being revolting. But if we’re listening to Joe Morgan do color commentary for three hours, it’s time to bring out the heavy artillery.– By Michael