Mat Latos (5-3, 3.08 ERA) vs. Roy Halladay (7-3, 1.99 ERA)
Time: 7:05 p.m at Citizens Bank Park
Weather: Partly cloudy, 86
TV: Comcast Sportsnet
Lineup: Victorino CF, Polanco 3B, Utley 2B, Howard 1B, Werth RF, Ibanez LF, Castro SS, Ruiz C, Halladay P
Boy, do the Phillies ever need Roy.
Games such as this one are exactly why the Phillies shuttled a couple of their top prospects to Toronto to pry “Doc” away from the Blue Jays.
You do that to get a pitcher for which there are many nicknames – “horse,” “ace,” “stopper” – in essence, a guy who is his best when the chips are down.
The Phillies need Halladay because they need a win, having fallen three games behind the white-hot Braves in the NL East, and Halladay far and away gives them their best chance at getting one.
It’s probable that Halladay won’t be as good as he was the last time out, when he breezed through the Florida Marlins’ lineup three times as easily as he knocks out a 7 a.m. workout. It’s quite likely that Johnny Vander Meer’s record of consecutive no-hitters will still be standing come Saturday. But the amazing thing about Halladay is that you believe that indeed he could do it again.
In reality, this game is no more about Halladay, though, than it is about the Phillies’ offense. For the past 11 games, the offense has been a shell of its former self because of a combination of slumps and injuries that has turned the clock back on the lineup – as in back to February and March, when you would actually expect to see two or three reserves playing every day. In the Charlie Manuel era, the Phillies’ fate has usually been tied to the offense, and this season is no different.
Your Gameday Beer – Great Divide Wild Raspberry Ale
The arrival of hot weather means raspberries are almost in season – an excuse to try one of these 5.6 percent brews. As expected it’s sweet, tart and fruity but not exactly an authentic framboise. It has a dark amber appearance, which gives the beer a base for the flavors of red and black raspberries. It has a lot of carbonation, so be prepared. Pair it with spicy Mexican food. – By Brian