Philadelphia Phillies (1-1) vs. Miami Marlins (2-3)
Don’t expect many runs to be scored tonight, as tonight’s pitching matchup features two of the best pitchers in not only the National League, but in all of baseball. Roy Halladay will get the call for the Phils, and he’s coming off a start on Opening Day where he pitched eight innings of no-hit baseball after giving up singles to the first two batters of the game. Opposing him is Marlins’ youngster Josh Johnson, who is coming off a rough start against the Pujols-less St. Louis Cardinals in which he gave up three runs on 10 hits over six innings. Regardless, when he is healthy, he is a helluva pitcher.
Johnson’s especially good against the Phillies, as all current hitters combine for just a .232 average against him. Hunter Pence, who will hit fourth tonight, is just 1-for-5 against the Marlins righty, but that one hit was a home run. Jimmy Rollins has had the most success against Johnson of any Phillie who will play tonight, collecting nine hits in 30 at-bats. However, eight of those hits were singles, and he’s only drawn one walk while striking out four times.
Conversely, Halladay has similar stats against the Marlins hitters, with the exception of Jose Reyes. Reyes has a .414 average against Halladay, including three doubles and two triples. With the combination of his struggles against leadoff hitters and his struggles against Reyes, I’d expect Reyes to have a few hits tonight.
The Phillies need to get the offense going, but tonight is just not the night to expect that to happen. The game will most likely end up 1-0 or 2-1 — as the last three Halladay-Johnson meetings have — with the winning team getting the lead early and holding onto it. Hopefully the Phillies do just that.
Lineup: Pierre LF, Polanco 3B, Rollins SS, Pence RF, Victorino CF, Mayberry 1B, Ruiz C, Galvis 2B, Halladay P
Your Gameday Beer – Sam Adams Cherry Wheat and Guinness
Yes, you read that correctly. Both Sam Adams Cherry Wheat and Guinness get the call today. Sources tell me that by mixing the two (although the consistencies are not yet known) the taste is otherworldly. I’ve never actually tried the combo, but it sounds like it has potential. While it may be a bit expensive to run off two cases of each, grab a six pack and try it yourself. I’m hoping I don’t let you down here. If it sucks, at least you have two very good six packs to drink by themselves- By Pat