Philadelphia Phillies (70-57) at San Diego Padres (76-50)
Roy Oswalt, RHP (9-13, 3.22 ERA) vs. Matt Latos, RHP (13-5, 2.33 ERA)
Time: 10:05 EDT, Petco Park
Weather: Partly Sunny, 77
TV: Comcast SportsNet
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The Phillies come into tonight’s game after a long and dour plane ride across country. They will be greeted by one of the National League’s premiere pitchers and the rest of the Western Division leaders.
But Uncle Cholly’s bringing his newest toy to this fight. The Phillies will be powered by Roy Oswalt, who last saw action in right field during Tuesday night’s marathon game. In his appearance before that, he held the Nationals scoreless through seven innings. Since coming to the Phils he is 3-1 with a 3.42 ERA in five starts. His opposite number, 22-year-old lefty Mat Latos, has been one of the best pitchers in baseball this season, ranking fourth among NL starters in ERA, first in WHIP (an absurd 0.98), and first in batting average against. He has faced the Phillies once before, allowing three earned runs in five innings on June 4, taking one of his five losses on the season.
Considering the Phillies’ recent offensive struggles, Latos’ phenomenal track record in his first full season, Oswalt’s hot hand, the Padres’ general offensive impotence this season, the presence of the best bullpen in the majors this year, and the fact that Petco Park has an outfield the size of Montgomery County, I wouldn’t expect much scoring tonight.
For those of you scoreboard-watching this evening, La furia roja are 3 games behind Atlanta, who are home to Florida tonight. The Phils also stand half a game back of the Giants (who host Arizona) and a game and a half ahead of the Cardinals (away at Washington) in the wild card race.
Today’s lineup: Rollins SS, Polanco 3B, Utley 2B,Howard 1B, Werth RF, Ibanez LF, Victorino CF, Ruiz C, Oswalt P
Your Gameday Beer – Goose Island’s Green Line Pale Ale
I’ve always enjoyed a solid pale ale, and though I’ve never tasted this Chicago home-brew, the logo reminded me of home. The Green Line logo looks exactly like a Septa Line here in Philly, therefore, we are going with this one. You can rarely go wrong with an Ale, provided it has a a nice aroma and doesn’t leave too bitter an aftertaste. According to their website, Green Line Pale Ale is the beer at the heart of Goose Island’s environmental sustainability initiative, the “Green Line Project”. Pretty cool – you’re getting drunk and helping the environment. Score! If you can find this bad-boy, you’re in luck for tonight. If not, grab it when you’re out in Chi-town for the Phillies series later in the season. -By Pat