Philadelphia Phillies (73-57) at Los Angeles Dodgers (67-64)
Roy Halladay (16-10, 2.22 ERA) vs.
Hiroki Kuroda (9-11, 3.56)
Time: 10:10 p.m at Dodger Stadium
TV: Comcast SportsNet
Weather: Mostly Sunny, 67
This is what sets 2010 apart for the Phillies.
Faced with a similar position the past two seasons – heading into a big road series in need of wins, the Phillies would have had one hot starting pitcher (Cole Hamels in 2008, Cliff Lee in 2009) and a grab bag (Brett Myers and Joe Blanton ’08, Hamels and Pedro Martinez in ’09) for the rest of the series.
But not this year. This is why they got Roy Halladay and then added Roy Oswalt. Not to slight Kyle Kendrick, a serviceable fifth starter, but with the ability to hand the ball to Halladay and Oswalt heading into a key series – whether it’s at Dodger Stadium or Yankee Stadium – you have to like the Phillies’ chances.
Tonight it’s Halladay’s turn, and if anyone can maintain the staff’s momentum after an overpowering series against the first-place Padres, it’s Halladay. He’s been so dominant since his Sunday night clunker against at Wrigley Field in mid-July, until last week it seemed he might not lose the rest of the season. But then a bloop single and the Phillies’ inability to score in the Astros series ended that bid (Amazing bonus stat: Halladay has failed to pitched at least seven innings only four times this season).
But no matter how well Halladay pitches, the offense has to score runs. And before their five-run “explosion” yesterday, the Phillies hadn’t scored that many runs in a week. The struggles of Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino from the left side of the plate – and from Ryan Howard and Chase Utley in general – are a major threat to the Phillies’ playoff hopes with each day they continue.
Your Gameday Beer – Philadelphia Original Lager
Brewed by Red Bell Brewery out of the Brewerytown neighborhood of Philadelphia, this beer is a classic microbrew lager. It’s a bit heavier than Yuengling, with more of a roasted malt flavor and some sweet coffee and caramel hints. Its supreme drinkability coupled with a pour that looks like iced tea means you can sneakily house several of these bad boys. Have your favorite pasta with some marinara sauce and a few Philly Lagers. – By Brian