Philadelphia Phillies (85-61) at Florida Marlins (73-71)
Roy Halladay (18-10, 2.44 ERA) vs. Jorge Sosa (2-2, 5.82 ERA)
Time: 7:10 p.m at Sun Life Stadium
Weather: Mostly cloudy, chance of thunderstorms, 84
Two months ago today, the Phillies were in third place, 5 1/2 games out of first place, six games over .500, with, according to Coolstandings.com, a 10.6 percent chance of winning the division and a 20.9 percent chance of making the playoffs at all. Today, the Phillies are 24 games over .500, with a 94.1 percent chance at the division. And after this afternoon’s loss to Washington, the Braves now stand 2 1/2 games behind the Phillies. The momentum is with La Furia Roja, and the foam rubber tomahawk-wielders are starting to sweat.
Now it’s time to step on the bastards’ throats.
This evening, Roy Halladay makes his triumphant return to Sun Life Stadium, where there will most likely be several unused tickets for the Marlins to sell after tonight. A win by the Phillies over Jorge Sosa’s Flying Circus will put them 3 games up going into an off-day, then a season-concluding set of 15 division games, including 6 against those selfsame Braves. Of course, with a soul-crushing edge in the pitching battle tonight, and having taken the first two games of the series, the Phillies could be staring into the eyes of a trap game.
Tonight’s lineup: Victorino CF, Polanco 3B, Utley 2B, Howard 1B, Werth RF, Ibanez LF, Ruiz C, Valdez SS, Halladay P
Your gamenight beer: Great Lakes Brewery Edmund Fitzgerald Porter
We’ve covered Great Lakes Brewery in this space before, but I hadn’t had this one until last Friday, when it was recommended to me by a friendly bartender named Ruben at Mac’s Tavern on Second and Market. It’s dark, malty, substantial, and above all, tasty. Well-deserving of the effusive praise heaped on it by Gordon Lightfoot.– By Michael