2018 Gameday

Gameday 2018: Phillies (24-16) at Cardinals (23-17)

st_louis_cardinals.jpgAh, time for the annual 71-game series in St. Louis. I wrote earlier today about how annoying those series have been for the Phillies, and how they typically foretell the rest of the season.

Of course, in recent years the Phillies haven’t been good. This year is different, as after 40 games the Phils have won 60 percent of contests. That’s one of the top-five rates in baseball. I said early this year that the first quarter of the season had to be successful for the Phils to dream of contention, and so far that’s what’s happened. Now we enter a tough 40-game stretch that starts, of course, with the annual 71-game series in St. Louis.

I really think this is the first big series of the season. It should be fun.

Gametime: 7:15 p.m.

The lineup:

  1. Hernandez – 2B
  2. Altherr – RF
  3. Herrera – CF
  4. Hoskins – LF
  5. Santana – 1B
  6. Franco – 3B
  7. Kingery – SS
  8. Alfaro – C
  9. Velasquez – P

Pitchers: Vince Velasquez (3-4, 5.05 ERA) vs. Luke Weaver (3-2, 4.91 ERA)

Substantial moment here for Velasquez in an attempt to follow up his last performance, which started shakily but ended with 12 strikeouts and a win over San Francisco. I feel as if Rhys Hoskins is starting to heat up again, so I would’ve liked to see him hitting second tonight.

Your Gameday Beer: Thunder Hole AleLet’s go with a brown ale tonight, something for easy sipping and long-lasting enjoyment. Here’s from Bar Harbor Brewing Co. up in Maine. I had this when I visited Acadia National Park recently, and it wasn’t bad. Nice sweetness on the back end, but not cloying. I’d have two for sure. Pair it with pulled pork or a salad chock full o’nuts (not the coffee).

Go Phillies!



  1. Ken Bland

    May 18, 2018 at 2:21 pm

    Roughly half my age, and possibly overrating my intelligence to say Matt Klentakis only doubly smart, I have a daredevil (by normal standards) move to dare him to make. He was daredevil enough to sign Scott Kingery to a long term deal without 1 MLB appearance, so maybe he can pull another one of slight similarity

    Suffice to say the Phils closing position is nebulous although options within don’t drop it to a bleak level. Painful as his hardly forgotten 2 recent horrific efforts were, separating the Phils from what would be a 10 game win streak now, it’s not unthinkable that Neris straightens out, or a guy like Dominguez fills the bill, and he’s not the only young option.

    That said, there’s a guy about 3 weeks away from returning to action down Baltimore way, where the trade deadline can’t come soon enough. That’d be Zach Britton.

    It’s assumed that Britton will be watched closely by several would be title pursuers to see how he matches up with prior excellence upon return to see what degree of young talent is worth renting him as he heads toward free agency at season’s end.

    Why not try like heck to get him NOW, and assume he recovers, which if he does, makes a pretty good bullpen that much more a strength. If Britton shows well in an O’s uni, he’ll be more than highly sought. Get a jump on the field now, with a potential trade partner that they figure to have solid connections with from the list of O’s alum in the Phils organization, and the formula for a post season earning bullpen is likely more present.

    If somehow Britton proves ineffective, caution would have been wise. But the risk of pursuing him in a more competitive trade market should he prove healthy is likely more expensive in the trade price, and competitive times a lot.

  2. Ken Bland

    May 19, 2018 at 10:42 am

    There’s no way around this overstating the importance of first place this early in the season. The only purpose it serves is exciting a first year or young fan. Beats the hell out of how the standings looked when I first started following the Phils.

    But that importance conceded, although I’m sure I’ve seen this dozens of times, I have zero recollection of it happening before.

    Like 5 times this year, the Phils have been closer to the verge of first place than the hands are on a clock showing five of eleven. Most notable was the Sunday blowup against the Nats when at the same moment, the Braves were rallying against whoever, and wound up failing, but holding first unshared as the Phils lost in crushing fashion.

    Similarly, last night, the Braves lost to the lowly Marlins, and a win would have put the Phils in a tie for the top spot. Oh, well. Easy come, easy go. I guess. Still, it would have felt nice to spend a few seconds on top, rekindling sensations of Phillies Golden Age 1 and 2. The Phils multiple time threat to get to the top, meaningless as May carries has seen them huff and puff. Maybe they’ll still match fairy tale script and blow the house down. But to this point, a music video of the Phils season could include audio from The Jacksons crooning “Maybe Tomorrow”, or Bob Lind voicing “Elusive Butterfly” and not be misrepresented.

  3. Vernon Dozier

    May 19, 2018 at 10:51 am

    Hoskins over his last 17 games: .145/.260/.258 for an OPS of .518.

    #BeBold #ElTorito

  4. Ken Bland

    May 19, 2018 at 7:47 pm

    Nothing grates on me like a LEADOFF walk. But I have to give Cardinal radio man John Rooney credit for going off when Nick Williams earned a walk after TWO out in the 8th to pave the way for a winning rally. Greg Holland, a 1 time lights out guy is having a start to the year reminiscent of when Brad Lidge went through a downward time with the Phils in ’09. Holland winds up throwing 26 pitches, Metheny uses Norris over an inning to the tune of 29 pitches, effectively ruling the back of the Cards pen on rest for Sunday and the tied for first Phils have a decent shot at a 3 of 4 series with Nola matching with Jack Flaherty, who, for whatever this is worth (certainly not everything) has not seen the 6th inning in his previous starts this year, though pitching pretty well.

    Braves trail 1-0 T3 against the Fish. All I’ll say is Jose Urena is a lot more talented than his 0-6 record shows. Be a nice night to show that on the scoreboard.

  5. Ken Bland

    May 20, 2018 at 2:24 pm

    Jack Dickey is a staff writer at Sports Illustrated. Media growth has reduced SI in many ways, but its still a natural enough tendency to respect first, and question later after reading an opinion from one of it’s staff.

    Dickey himself is probably a quality SI staffer. Young, but well educated, and awarded for his writing, here’s what he offered at the quarter turn of the baseball season for which player is most likely for a drop off come Q2 and beyond. Whether he grew up in the NYC area, and therefore might be a Met fan is not known.

    He goes on to draw this conclusion.

    Personally, I doubt Nola has a 1.99 ERA at the break, as that IS low. But whatever middle of the pack is defined as, I doubt Nola takes up residence there.

    In the meantime, it’s good bulletin board material if the seemingly mild-mannered Nola is into that sort of thing.

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