Philadelphia Phillies (71-57) at San Diego Padres (76-51)
Joe Blanton, RHP (5-6, 5.32 ERA) vs. Jon Garland, RHP (13-8, 3.25 ERA)
Time: 4:10 EDT, Petco Park
Weather: Cloudy, 64
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When Jimmy Rollins slid past Yorvit Torrealba in the 12th inning last night, the Phillies achieved something historic. On August 10, the Braves beat Houston 4-2, while the Phillies went down 15-9 to Los Angeles in a wild game that ended with pinch-hitter Cole Hamels popping out to left. Until last night, that was the last time the Braves and Phillies had both played on the same night with different results. Now, the Phillies stand only two games back of Atlanta, ready to take another crack at the NL-leading Padres.
It’s truly remarkable that the Phillies won last night, considering that the Padres have far and away the best bullpen in baseball. No other bullpen has a lower ERA, more strikeouts, or a lower opponent batting average. You all know all-star closer Heath Bell, but four Padres relievers (of which Bell is not one) have a WHIP under 1.000. Bell is one of four relievers to post an ERA under 2.00 in more than 20 appearances. And for you Chase Utley/Ryan Howard/Raul Ibanez/Dom Brown fans, San Diego LOOGY Joe Thatcher’s WHIP is 0.671. That’s right, he allows roughly half as many baserunners per inning as starter Jon Garland. Better hope the Phillies get to Garland early.
Today’s lineup: Rollins SS, Polanco 3B, Utley 2B,Howard 1B, Werth RF, Ibanez LF, Victorino CF, Schneider C, Blanton P
Your Gameday Beer – Brasserie de Rochefort 10
The ultimate beer produced by one of the seven Trappist breweries in Europe. Rochefort 10 is a dark, superlatively smooth ale best enjoyed warm. At 11.3% ABV, it’s not for the faint of heart, but it’s not super-high-grav for super-high-grav’s sake: Beeradvocate ranks it as the sixth-best beer on Earth, making it the highest-quality beer I’ve ever tasted personally. -By Michael