Atlanta Braves (86-66) at Philadelphia Phillies (91-61)
Tommy Hanson (10-11 3.62 ERA) vs. Roy Oswalt (13-13, 2.90 ERA)
Time: 7:05, Citizens Bank Park
Weather: Partly Cloudy, 88
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Five up with 10 to play. It’s amazing that the Phillies have made it this far, just a game and a half back of the Yankees for the best record in all of baseball and hotter than any other contender when it counts the most. Tonight is a chance to go up by 2/3 the number of games remaining in the season. Monday and Tuesday nights, the Phillies sent their two best pitchers out to beat up on children. One wonders if Bobby Cox will ride off into the sunset regretting his failure to set his rotation for the three most important games of the season.
But today, Tommy Hanson takes up Atlanta’s cause. Hanson was spectacular as a rookie last year and has built on that strong performance in 2010, posting 3.8 WAR, a 3.14 K/BB ratio, and a 3.39 FIP. However, he’s going against Roy Oswalt, who, since joining the Phillies has been so good it’s starting to get boring to talk about it.
After winning the first two games of the series, this one is not absolutely essential, but it would certainly make a difference to go into the last nine games up six, rather than four.
Today’s lineup: Victorino CF, Polanco 3B, Utley 2B, Howard 1B, Werth RF, Ibanez LF, Ruiz C, Valdez SS, Oswalt P
Your gameday beer: Butterbeer
In honor of the Phillies’ (hopeful) impending sweep this evening, we bring to you a beverage served at the Three Broomsticks in the Harry Potter series of books. Butterbeer is one of the few Harry Potter creations that we Muggles can enjoy. It’s one part butterscotch schnapps and seven parts cream soda. It’s certainly not that alcoholic, but it tastes, well, like magic.– Michael Baumann