Philadelphia Phillies (48-42) at Chicago Cubs (41-51)
Roy Halladay, RHP (10-7, 2.19 ERA) vs. Tom Gorzelanny, LHP (4-5, 3.16 ERA)
Time: 8:05 p.m., Wrigley Field
Weather: Mostly Cloudy, 89
After heading into the break on a four-game winning streak, momentum seemed to be on the Phillies’ side–which made losing the first two games of the four-game set to the Cubs even more of a hoof in the swingers than it might have been otherwise. With the Phils a game and a half out of the wild card, and several of their top rivals beating up on each other, tonight’s game takes on added importance.
After the return of Placido Polanco from the DL, combined with the self-destruction of Carlos Marmol gifted the Phillies a 4-1 win yesterday afternoon, La Furia Roja sends its best to the mound to salvage a split. Roy Halladay, apart from 2/3 of an inning in the All-Star game, hasn’t pitched since July 10, when he threw 9 innings of shutout ball in what would eventually be a 1-0 win over Cincinnati.
On the road, facing a relatively tough lefty in Tom Gorzelanny, it’s important that the offense doesn’t do what they did the last time Halladay went out–that is, go 8 innings without producing a baserunner. I’m not sure that there’s such a thing as a must-win game when you’re a game and a half out of the playoffs in the third week of July, but if they blow this game and wind up missing the playoffs by two games or something, the Phillies might wind up looking back at tonight as one of those games they should have won.
Phillies Lineup: Victorino (CF), Polanco(3B), Rollins (SS), Howard (1B), Werth (RF), Francisco (LF), Ruiz (C), Valdez (2B), Halladay (P)
Your Gameday Beer– Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale
Had this for the first time last weekend. It’s beer aged for up to 6 weeks in freshly-decanted bourbon barrels. So you’re telling me that this is somehow a combination of beer and bourbon, my two favorite alcoholic beverages? I couldn’t say yes fast enough, and neither can you.– By Michael