Houston Astros (55-69) at Philadelphia Phillies (70-54)
J.A. Happ, LHP (3-2, 3.54 ERA) vs. Roy Halladay, RHP (16-8, 2.16 ERA)
Time: 7:05, Citizens Bank Park
Weather: Cloudy, 78
TV: Comcast SportsNet
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The only way to describe last night’s 16-inning Stanley Kubrick film of a baseball game is “absurd.” Absurd is one of those words (“awesome” is another), that’s lost its original meaning. Last night’s game was absurd in the original sense–in the tradition of mid-20th-century French existentialist literature. Sartre’s No Exit comes to mind. If hell isn’t other people, it may be Scott Barry and Ryan Howard.
Tonight, the Phillies attempt to beat Houston for the first time all week behind the right arm of Roy Halladay, blessed be his name, but we don’t get the reunion of the opening day lineup for the first time since…well…a week after opening day. Ryan Howard, after unleashing a truly impressive string of obscenities at Barry in the 14th inning of last night’s game, is being given the night off. He’ll sit in the corner and think about the consequences of cussing out a replacement umpire when you’re hitting cleanup and your manager’s out of position players. Neither will Raul Ibanez, though he’s probably only sitting because there’s a lefty on the mound, plus he played 16 innings last night and he’s old as hell.
Of course, even if Halladay pitches a gem (both Cole Hamels last night and Joe Blanton the night before went seven impressive innings in eventual losses), it’s no guarantee that a Phillies offense that’s scored only four runs in 25 innings this series can provide enough offensive support to win.
Tonight’s game also marks the return of J.A. Happ to Philadelphia in an opposing uniform. He’s pitched competently, if not spectacularly, in four starts since joining Houston. If you’re going to the game, be sure to give him a warm welcome back.
Today’s lineup: Rollins SS, Victorino CF, Polanco 3B, Utley 2B, Werth RF, Sweeney 1B, Francisco LF, Ruiz C, Halladay P
Your gamenight beer: Piedboeuf Brewery Jupiler
Today is August 25, the anniversary of the Belgian Revolution. On this day 180 years ago, a group of French-speaking Belgians saw a performance of La Muette de Portici, a patriotic opera, at the Royal Opera House in Brussels. After the show, they spilled out onto the streets and started killing Dutch soldiers. A year later, Leopold I was installed as King of the Belgians and the rest, as they say, is history.
In honor of that event, we give you Jupiler, Belgium’s most popular beer. It tastes like Bud Light, only better, which makes sense because they’re both owned by InBev. So enjoy the game, and eendracht maakt macht.