Philadelphia Phillies (12-12) at Atlanta Braves (14-10)
In case you haven’t noticed yet, the Phillies have owned the Braves lately. Dating back to last July, the Phillies have beaten the Braves eight consecutive times, including a season-ending sweep to close out the 2011 regular season and send the Bravos home without a playoff appearance. Last night, the Braves and Phillies got into a bullpen game, tied at 2 in the sixth inning. Usually, this is exactly where the Braves want a game–in the hands of their vaunted bullpen. But the Phils would have none of it, scoring 2 runs off of Johnny Venters in the eighth inning to pull out the late victory.
Tonight, Roy Halladay will look to make it nine in a row when he takes the ball for the Phils. Doc’s been his usual self this season, shutting down lineups and getting his team back in the dugout. He’s lost his last two decisions, however, despite allowing just five runs over 14 innings in those two starts. For his career, the Good Doctor has gone 4-1 against the Braves with just a 1.78 ERA. In three starts at Turner Field, that ERA drops to 1.13.
The Braves starter, Tommy Hanson, has been no slouch against the Phils either, posting a 1-2 record with a 2.23 ERA against them in seven career starts.
This match-up will pit the aces of two very good pitching staffs against one another, and has all the makings of a low-scoring game. Which of course means the final will be somewhere around 10-9, making me look foolish, as baseball tends to do to game prognosticators.
One thing to note: Aside from the pitcher’s spot, Charlie Manuel will send out the exact same lineup from last night–something he has done sparingly this season.
Lineup: Rollins SS, Polanco 3B, Victorino CF, Pence RF, Wigginton 1B, Nix LF, Ruiz C, Galvis 2B, Halladay P.
It’s not hard to stay thirsty, my friends, in Georgia, which is where tonight’s game is. Dos Equis will not wow you, but it’s easy to drink. Its brewery is stationed in Monterrey, Mexico, which has a penchant for being quite warm, much like the state of Georgia. Fun fact: Heineken saw a 20 percent increase in sales after the acquisition of Dos Equis in just the first quarter alone. The power of the Most Interesting Man in the World. -By Pat