Philadelphia Phillies (34-20) at Washington Nationals (22-31)
Time: 7:05 pm, Nationals Park
Weather: Mostly Cloudy, 96
Twitter: Phillies Nation
So, since it’s no longer Memorial Day weekend, I guess we don’t have to feel unpatriotic about the Phillies beating teams from New York and Washington anymore. Considering tonight’s pitching matchup, we should expect more of the same.
Cliff Lee might be only .500, but a deeper look into his season shows him to be as effective a pitcher as he’s ever been. Lee is second among NL starters in K/9, second in K/BB ratio, and fourth in both FIP and xFIP. He’s averaging not only more than a strikeout per inning, but 10.4 strikeouts per nine innings, combined with excellent control. Incidentally, the top three starting pitchers in the NL in K/BB ratio are Roy Halladay, Lee, and Cole Hamels, in that order.Noting the small sample size caveat, Lee has had success against most current Nationals. Ivan Rodriguez has a career .375 average against him with five walks in 37 plate appearances, but no other Nationals player has more than two career hits against the Phillies’ top lefty. Meanwhile, Nationals starter Jason Marquis has been shelled by Chase Utley, who has a career .464 batting average against the man once called “Gamechanger,” while Raul Ibanez, who is somehow inexplicably among the leaders in All-Star voting, has pegged Marquis for seven hits in 20 at-bats, four of them for extra bases. Not that this means much–I just thought you might find it interesting.
Rollins SS, Polanco 3B, Utley 2B, Howard 1B, Ibanez LF, Ruiz C, Brown LF, Mayberry CF, Lee P
Your Gameday Beer – Jim Beam Bourbon
This morning, I went with a friend of mine to serve as a witness as he applied for a marriage license. He’s in his mid-20s, but he’ll be the first of the group of guys I’ve been friends with since high school to tie the knot, and it was a heady occasion. With that in mind, I’m not sure beer’s going to cut it tonight–this may call for something stronger.– by Michael