Florida Marlins (7-5) at Philadelphia Phillies (9-3)
Javier Vazquez, RHP (1-1, 8.64 ERA) vs. Roy Oswalt, RHP (2-0, 2.25 ERA)
Time: 7:05, Citizens Bank Park
Weather: Partly Cloudy, 53
Twitter: Phillies Nation
Two of the top power pitchers from the past decade come together in a battle of the only two NL East teams over .500. Unfortunately for those of you hoping to see another pitcher’s duel, their careers are going in separate directions.
What has become of Javier Vazquez? How will we remember him? As the great pitcher who filled in admirably for Pedro Martinez at the tail end of the Montreal Expos’ existence? The pitcher who, from 2000-2009, ranked 14th among major leaguers in wins, second in strikeouts, second in innings pitched, and eighth in complete games? Or the one who bombed, terribly, in two stints with the Yankees and has a career record of 153-150 and ERA+ of 105? The one who, as he plays out the string in Florida with a fastball hovering under 89 mph when it used to sit close to 92, will drift back towards almost comically average numbers.
But anyway, it seems like it’s been a while since the Phillies have taken their bullpen out for a spin, and while the odds against three pitchers throwing complete games consecutively are long, back at home and facing a roughly average offense, it’s possible that Roy Oswalt, who’s gone exactly six innings in both of his starts, could keep that streak going. Oswalt’s first two starts have been almost identical–six innings, 88 pitches, 58 strikes in the first; six innings, 90 pitches, 59 strikes in the second.
Charlie Manuel’s giving two of his regulars, Ben Francisco and Wilson Valdez, the night off tonight. Gload, who was billed as a potential part of a right field platoon with Francisco, has not started so far this season. In fact, he hasn’t even played the field so far this season. Gload has played only 608 1/3 innings in the field in ten major league seasons, and has been a truly dreadful defensive outfielder. So…this ought to be fun.
Lineup: Victorino CF, Planco 3B, Rollins SS, Howard 1B, Ibanez LF, Gload RF, Ruiz C, Orr 2B, Oswalt P
“We fathom you not–we love you–there is perfection in you also;
You furnish your parts toward eternity;
Great or small, you furnish your parts toward the soul.”
-Walt Whitman, “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry”
A light, pleasant Belgian white ale, brewed in Philadelphia and named after the area’s greatest poet. Had it for the first time at Mac’s Tavern on Market Street the other night, and it tasted like a more citrus-filled version of Hoegaarden. All in all, not bad, and if nothing else, an excuse to quote “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry.”
– By Michael