Philadelphia Phillies (42-37) at Pittsburgh Pirates (29-52)
Joe Blanton, RHP (3-6, 6.19 ERA) vs. Jeff Karstens, RHP (2-3, 4.46 ERA)
Time: 1:35, PNC Park
Weather: Mostly Sunny, 83
Twitter: Phillies Nation
Happy Fourth of July, everyone. If you’re looking for a motivational speech to get psyched up for this afternoon’s game, I’ve got one for you.
When I was 16, I mislaid the CD for the PC version of Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast, the excellent Star Wars-based computer game starring Kyle Katarn. When I was 18, about to leave for college, I found it again and played it about 4 hours a day for several months. In much the same way, the Phillies, who had forgotten how to score for a few games, broke off a 12-spot on the hapless Paul Maholm last night, and we can only hope that the good times continue to roll for La Furia Roja.
This afternoon, Philadelphia tees off against righty Jeff Karstens, who was part of the Xavier Nady trade in 2008, a trade that, in the form of Jose Tabata and Daniel McCutchen, has already come back to haunt the Phightins this series, if not the Yankees since the deal was made. Karstens’ career has been marred by bad taste in major league teammates, with a somewhat-below-average 4.99 career ERA popping up alongside a truly dreadful 11-20 major league record.
Blanton has pitched well his past couple starts, but he and Karstens are hardly Walter Johnson and Christy Mathewson. If you were looking for fireworks, this might be the place. Also, I’d like to take this opportunity on behalf of my Phillies Nation to wish all of you out there a happy Independence Day. Let’s hope we get a split against an inferior team, and may God bless America.
Phillies Lineup: Rollins (SS), Victorino (CF), Ibanez (LF), Howard (1B), Francisco (RF), Dobbs (3B), Valdez (2B),Sardinha (C), Kendrick (P)
Your Gameday Beer– Budweiser
I hate the taste of this beer with the fire of a thousand suns, but frankly, it’s Independence Day, and we need something American. Bud Diesel tastes like a dead founding father–as you’re sucking it down you can feel the liberty permeating your bloodstream. So have a bunch of Buds this afternoon while you’re grilling and watching the Battle of Pennsylvania. If you don’t, the terrorists win.– By Michael