Houston Astros (0-1) at Philadelphia Phillies (1-0)
Wandy Rodriguez, LHP (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. Cliff Lee, LHP (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
Time: 7:05 p.m at Citizens Bank Park
TV: Comcast Network
Weather: Mostly Sunny, 52
Imagine being a Houston Astro. They’ve got to feel good about getting to Roy Halladay, and while they took a real gut shot of a loss yesterday afternoon, they were in the driver’s seat until Brandon Lyon gave up six hits to seven batters. I mean, at least they don’t have to go up against one of the best pitchers in…oh, crap….
That’s right, boys and girls; HE’S BAAAAAACK.
Cliff Lee takes the mound for the first time in his second go-round with the Phillies this evening, and will be opposed by another 32-year-old southpaw, Wandy Rodriguez. Wandy, in the past three seasons with Houston, has probably been their best starting pitcher apart from Roy Oswalt. In each of the past three years, he’s made at least 25 starts, posted an ERA of 3.60 or lower, and struck out at least eight batters per nine innings. He’s the toughest pitching matchup of the series for the Phillies, with an above-average fastball and an absolutely murderous curve.
Another Astro to watch out for is first baseman Brett Wallace. He’s been tied to the Phillies quite a bit in recent years despite never having played for the organization. In December of 2009, the Phillies, as you know, acquired Roy Halladay from Toronto for a package that included minor league outfielder Michael Taylor, who was immediately flipped to Oakland for Wallace. Then, in July 2010, the Phillies, as you know, acquired Roy Oswalt from Houston for a package that included minor league outfielder Anthony Gose, who was immediately flipped to Toronto for Wallace. So twice in the span of seven months, Wallace was traded for a minor league outfielder the Phillies gave up to acquire a front-line right-handed starter named Roy. Cool, huh?
Anyway, Wallace is one of the few players on Houston’s roster who could be a good major league player, though the power he displayed in the minors has yet to show up in (limited) major league action. He singled and scored in four at-bats yesterday.
LINEUP: Victorino CF, Polanco 3B, Rollins SS, Howard 1B, Ibanez LF, Francisco RF, Ruiz C, Valdez 2B, Lee P
Your Gameday Beer – Lionshead Lager
This is essentially your local alternative to Bud Light. Its defining quality as a beer is its price (cheap), and it’s brewed in Wilkes-Barre, which is kinda cool. Mostly, I picked this beer as a tribute to Astros closer Brandon Lyon, who has one of those awesome stat lines you only see in the first week of the season: 0-1, 1/3 IP, 81.00 ERA, 18.00 WHIP, 162.00 H/9. Poor dude. – By Michael