Chicago Cubs (19-22) at Philadelphia Phillies (24-15)
Tom Gorzelanny, RHP (2-4, 3.49 ERA) vs. Joe Blanton, RHP (1-2, 5.49 ERA)
Time: 1:05, Citizens Bank Park
Weather: Sunny, 76
TV: Comcast SportsNet
In their matinee matchup with the Chicago Cubs, the Phillies have a couple of things going for them. One is that today’s starter for the Cubs, Ryan Dempster, pitches with the appendage on the right side of his torso, not the left. After being held to one run combined the past two nights by Zach Duke and Tom Gorzelanny, the last thing the Phillies want to see is another lefty.
Dempster is having a strange season. He’s pitched at least six innings in each of his eight starts and his ERA is a respectable 3.49, but he’s just 2-4 to show for it. In fact, he’s gone seven innings in each of his last four starts – and lost all of them. The problem is a lack of run support; the Cubs scored a total of 10 runs in those four games, dropping three of them by one run.
During his career, Dempster has been smacked around by the Phillies. He hasn’t beaten them as a starter since 2001, with a 1.62 WHIP, 4.99 ERA and .272 BAA. The only area where his numbers are OK is wins and losses (4-4).
After all the talk of the Phillies finally getting their lineup fully back with the return of Jimmy Rollins on Monday, it hasn’t resulted in much success – mainly because the lineup still wasn’t really together until Wednesday (Chase Utley sat out Monday and Tuesday with flulike symptoms). And today Werth and Ruiz will get a rest. So the wait for the varsity Phillies lineup to put it all together will have to wait for the Red Sox series this weekend.
Today’s Lineup: Victorino (CF), Polanco (3B), Utley (2B), Howard (1B), Rollins (SS), Ibanez (LF), Gload (RF), Hoover (C), Blanton (P)
Your Gameday Beer – Hop Explosion
The Phils are in dire need of an offensive explosion, so let’s drink to that. Brewed in Bethlehem, Hop Explosion is not too widely available outside of the Lehigh Valley but as the name hints, it’s an IPA. There are some citrus flavors but they’re completely overpowered by the intensely bitter hops. This beer is certainly an acquired taste, but so is curried goat, so have the two together and pray for better meals and games ahead. – By Brian