It’s a crucial game (crucial in the sense that 8-2 looks better than 7-3) for the Phillies today. The Phils play the Reds in the final game of a four-game series. The Phils could walk out of it with a series in and a 8-2 homestand, the kind of homestand that makes you dance naked. Or they could lose and finish it 7-3, causing whimpers.
Either way, it’s a big game for Cole Hamels, who is coming off a horrible stretch for him. Last time he faced the Reds he got the win, going seven innings and giving up one earned run on five hits. The Reds will counter with prospect Homer Bailey, making his first start of 2008. Last year he went 4-2 with a 5.76 ERA in 45.3 innings. The Phils hit him well.
Ken Griffey Jr. will start. He needs one home run for 600 in his career.
Phillies: Cole Hamels (5-4) 3.73 ERA
Reds: Homer Bailey (0-0) 0.00 ERA
Gametime: 1:05 p.m. EST
Weather: 76 degrees, partly cloudy
Lineup: Rollins, Victorino, Utley, Howard, Burrell, Jenkins, Feliz, Ruiz, Hamels
Your gameday beer: Snake Dog IPA is the choice today. We need Hamels to pitch like a snake, weaving in and out and attacking very matter-of-factly. A seven-inning start would be best. Who needs to be a dog? Ryan Howard. He needs to be the big dog, ripping Bailey to shreds today while securing the Phils an easy win. What to eat? How about curry chicken over basmati rice?