Johnny Cueto, RHP (2-1, 1.45 ERA) vs. Vance Worley, RHP (2-0, 1.12 ERA)
Time: 7:05 p.m. Citizens Bank Park
Weather: Chance of thunderstorms, 79
Twitter: Phillies Nation
I sure did enjoy that seven-run third inning last night, didn’t you guys? What’s more, it sure was fun to see Chase Utley back in red pinstripes, even though he did go 0-for-5. Tonight, we get more of the same, as the Phillies pray their good offensive fortune from last night carries over against Johnny Cueto. Cueto has only made three starts so far this season, but he’s done quite well, with 14 strikeouts and a WHIP of 1.02 in 18 2/3 innings. Cueto’s been something of a familiar face for Phillies fans over recent years. Though he’s only made five starts against Philadelphia, including the playoffs, in his career, two of them were memorable battles against Cole Hamels: the first was a 22-1 loss in 2009 that got so out of hand shortstop Paul Janish came in to pitch, and the other was the losing end of Hamels’ Game 3 complete game shutout in last year’s NLCS.
I know we gripe about the Phillies’ offensive struggles, but as fans of one team we’re often somewhat myopic about our complaints. If there’s another good team that’s run into as much bad fortune as the Phillies, the Reds might be it. They started 5-0 and as recently as a week ago were eight games over .500 and a game and a half up in the division, but since then the Reds have lost six on the trot, by a combined 24 runs, and fallen out of first place in embarrassing fashion. Not like you ought to feel bad for them or anything–I hope the Phillies win by 15 runs.
Vance Worley takes the ball for Philadelphia this evening, in what could be the first of many appearances as the Phillies’ No. 5 starter, depending on how bad Joe Blanton’s elbow actually is. Which brings me to an important point: Vance Worley needs a nickname. I mean, not like his given name isn’t awesome enough, or that “Vanimal” isn’t a good start, but I think we can do better. If you have ideas, leave them in the comment section. Extra points will be awarded for anything menacing, goofy, or alliterative.
Oh, and I bet you didn’t know this (I had no clue until I checked the date on Wikipedia), but today is the anniversary of the first night game in MLB history, contested May 24, 1935, between…the Reds and Phillies, believe it or not. So that’s pretty cool, huh?
Rollins SS, Utley 2B, Polanco 3B, Howard 1B, Ibanez LF, Ruiz C, Brown RF, Mayberry CF, Worley P
Your Gameday Beer– Free State John Brown Ale
I was paging through Wikipedia, and a bunch of interesting stuff happened on May 24. Plus it’s my fiancee’s birthday, and while I feel a personal obligation to honor that date with tonight’s beer recommendation, I know full well that none of you guys give a crap. Therefore, in honor of the (and I hope this is less convoluted than it sounded in my head) 155th anniversary of the Pottawatomie Creek massacre, I give you Free State Brewing Co.’s John Brown Ale. Brown, as you may know, was not only a rational anti-slavery militant in the Bleeding Kansas era of the antebellum west, he famously raided the federal armory in Harper’s Ferry, Virginia (now West Virginia) in 1859 with the intention of arming the slaves and starting a rebellion in the South. Of course, that raid was put down by the 2nd U.S. Cavalry that included future Confederate generals Robert E. Lee, who led the unit, and J.E.B. Stuart. Of course, I can’t imagine many of you give a crap about John Brown either.-by Michael