Time: 7:10, Sun Life Stadium
Weather: Sunny, 85
Twitter: Phillies Nation
When I was playing baseball in school, we had a slogan. ‘Offense wins games, but defense wins Championships.’ It’s a great saying, but how can the defense do anything when the offense isn’t holding up it’s end of the bargain?
The Phillies have managed only 12 runs over their last five games. Wednesday night’s starter Cliff Lee (2-3, 3.69) knows all too well what it’s like to pitch without any run support. In his last start against the Braves, Lee struck out a career high 16 batters but left the game after the seventh inning trailing 3-0. The Phillies would lose that game 5-0.
Lee will try to break away from his winless streak tonight against a Marlins team that managed just enough last night to squeak by Roy Halladay and the visiting Phillies. Since shutting out the Nationals on April 14, Lee hasn’t recorded a victory in his last four starts (0-2, 3.33). In his last three starts the Phillies have only scored one run for their lefty ace.
The Marlins rotation is nothing to sneeze at either. One day after throwing Josh Joshson, Florida will send their young righty Ricky Nolasco to the bump. Nolasco is coming into the game with a streak of four quality starts. He has at times fallen victim to the low run support this season as well.
The Phillies haven’t had a great deal of success against Nolasco. Jimmy Rollins has faced him 25 times, collecting six hits including two home runs. Raul Ibanez has four hits in 10 trips to the plate against the righty. Nolasco is 6-3 with a 3.78 ERA in 64.1 innings against Philadelphia.
We have seen Ibanez’s average jump 77 points on his recent assault on NL pitching. He is hitting .467 in his last eight games and identically the same average in 16 games against Florida.
Rollins SS, Victorino CF, Polanco 3B, Howard 1B, Ibanez LF, Francisco RF, Schneider C, Valdez 2B, Lee P
It’s not hard to stay thirsty, my friends, in South Florida, which is where tonight’s game is. Dos Equis will not wow you, but it will be easy to drink on a warm evening. It’s brewery is stationed in Monterrey, Mexico, which has a penchant for being quite warm, too. Fun fact: Heineken saw a 20 percent increase in sales after the acquisition of Dos Equis in just the first quarter alone. The power of the Most Interesting Man in the World. -By Pat