A day after being shutout and managing only three hits against the Cardinals, the Phillies are tasked with solving Jake Westbrook tonight, who has yet to give up an earned run in 15.2 innings this season. The Phils counter with fellow sinker baller Kyle Kendrick, who is also off to a solid start in 2013 with an ERA of 3.38.
Westbrook’s sparkling statistics are a little misleading; the 35-year-old has allowed 10 walks in his two starts and was fortunate to have his third start against the Pirates, in which he gave up four runs in the first two innings, washed out due to rain. Meanwhile, the Phillies are 27th in baseball in walks, with only 39 through 18 games. Westbrook’s WHIP of 1.34 is just a tad under his career mark of 1.39. His career ERA, however, is 4.26… much higher than the 0.00 he is sporting at the moment. In short, something here has to give.
After getting hit with the injury bug late this week, the Phillies have both Ryan Howard and Domonic Brown in the lineup for the first time since Wednesday. A week ago today, the Phillies clawed their way back to .500 in Miami behind Roy Halladay. They are 1-5 since, scoring a microscopic seven runs in the five losses. The Phillies desperately need to salvage a split with St. Louis on Sunday night to try to get back on track. And they need to get both Howard and Brown going to do so.
Kendrick will have his hands full tonight. The Cardinals, fifth in baseball in runs (90 in 17 games), are led by Carlos Beltran and Yadier Molina. Beltran has homered in all three games of the series. Matt Holliday is not in the starting lineup for the Cardinals, but he is essentially being replaced by rookie sensation Matt Adams. The lefty slugger is hitting .524 with 3 home runs and 8 RBI in only 21 at-bats, all of which adds up to an unconscionable OPS of 1.613.
Lineup: Rollins SS, Mayberry RF, Utley 2B, Howard 1B, Young 3B, Brown LF, Revere CF, Kratz C, Kendrick P
GAMEDAY BEER: Busch Heavy
Sticking with the St. Louis theme, let’s switch it to straight up Busch Heavy tonight. Everybody needs a good night’s sleep on Sundays but with the Phillies playing the late game, that will be a little more difficult tonight. My solution? Busch Heavy.