Atlanta Braves (48-35) at Philadelphia Phillies (43-38)
Jair Jurrjens (1-3, 5.59) vs. Cole Hamels (6-7, 4.07)
Time: 7:05, Citizens Bank Park
Weather: Partly Cloudy/Hot, 96
TV: Comcast SportsNet
Injury updates at 6pm: J.A. Happ has been activated from the disabled list and optioned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. The Phillies did not feel he was ready to pitch in the majors quite yet after a string of sub-par performances during his rehab stint.
Carlos Ruiz will begin a rehab assignment tomorrow with Lehigh Valley. He’s been cleared medically and will play 7-9 innings…
If you were to compare the 2010 Phillies to the previous two years, you’d say something was lacking. They don’t look the same, they look older, they need to make a trade, they have to mix things up. But consider this: they have the same record right now (43-38) that they had in both 2008 and 2009.
The teams around them have certainly caught up to the Phils as of today, but before you jump off a bridge, realize that their numbers in the standings are identical. How they’ve gotten there might be different (less power, better starting pitching) but also consider they’ve dealt with more injuries in the last two months than in the last two years combined.
Tonight is a pretty big night. A win would go a long way toward gaining confidence and catching the Braves. Cole Hamels gets the nod against Jair Jurrjens. Hamels is just 1-5 in his last seven starts despite allowing 3 earned or less in six of those seven. Take away that 2/3 inning, 3 earned performance in rain-soaked Atlanta a month ago, and Hamels’ numbers would certainly be prettier. As is the case, they aren’t and most of the blame can be placed on the offense that can’t back him.
He struggled against Toronto, but other than that and the Atlanta game, he’s been outstanding. He’ll need to be tonight in the sweltering heat, so his psyche will undoubtedly be challenged. Hamels must rise to the occasion. So does the lineup behind him.
Phillies Lineup: Rollins SS, Victorino CF, Ibanez LF, Howard 1B, Werth RF, Dobbs 3B, Valdez 2B, Sardinha C, Hamels P
Your gameday beer: Woodchuck Cider Granny Smith
It’s effing hot tonight, so go for something that will cool you off a bit. Beer makes me even more parched on a blazing evening, meaning the pick tonight is Woodchuck Cider. Refreshing as hell (although it feels like we’re in hell right now, and thats not refreshing to anyone) Woodchuck is tasty, fairly priced, and won’t dry you out like Mike’s Hard Lemonade, which you will never see on here. Have some spaghetti and meatballs and a few of these bad boys – plus, get your AC running on high while the Phillies try to snag another from ATL. -By Pat