Jorge De La Rosa, LHP (5-1, 3.70 ERA) vs. Cole Hamels, LHP (4-2, 3.19 ERA)
Time: 7:05 p.m. Citizens Bank Park
Weather: Chance of thunderstorms, 68
TV: ESPN, Comcast SportsNet
Twitter: Phillies Nation
So this four-game losing streak has been rather less than enjoyable, wouldn’t you agree? It’s now up to Cole Hamels to prevent that streak from becoming five. Tonight’s game kicks off a two-game tilt with the Rockies of Colorado as the Phillies attempt to regain their bearings. The Phillies and Rockies have had their share of memorable games over the years, from the Tarp Incident of 2007 to Matsui-Lohse I to the Get Me To The Plate Game in the 2009 NL NLDS.
Despite his offense having performed less than satisfactorily over the past few days, Charlie Manuel will not make any wholesale changes to his lineup for tonight’s game–positions one through five are the same as last night, though Uncle Cholly is going with Raul Ibanez in left field, inexplicably, against left-handed starter De La Rosa. Likewise, Carlos Ruiz returns to the starting lineup in the stead of Dane Sardinha who has proved himself to be baseball’s equivalent of the Maginot Line: habitually set up in the wrong place and incapable of blocking anything, regardless of whether it’s a diving Lance Berkman or a division of Panzer tanks. On the bright side, however, Michael Martinez gets another start in center. After hitting safely in only three of his first 17 games, Martinez has now hit in each of his last three appearances, more than doubling his career total.
It’s been a big day for Phillies news, so before the game, let’s run down the highlights:
- GM Ruben Amaro says Chase Utley, God rest his saintly brow, will not return this weekend. Instead, the team wants to get him more rehab at-bats in Clearwater, where he’ll start both tonight and tomorrow.
- Shane Victorino, however, may return to the lineup this weekend against Texas, Amaro told CSN’s Leslie Gudel.
- Meanwhile, Domonic Brown seems to be fully recovered from his thumb injury, as he extended his hitting streak at Lehigh Valley to 18 games, tying the team record set by Mike Cervenak in 2008. Which begs the question why Raul Ibanez is playing left field tonight and not Brown, but that’s another story.
- And in news regarding thirtysomething relievers that, to be quite honest, I had forgotten about, Jose Contreras will make a rehab appearance for Clearwater alongside Utley, and Brad Lidge will throw off a mound for the first time since since March tomorrow.
Rollins SS Martinez CF Polanco 3B Howard 1B Mayberry RF Ibanez LF Ruiz C Valdez 2B Hamels P
Your Gameday Beer– Negra Modelo
I don’t know if anyone else realized this, but in back-to-back nights, the Phillies have faced the two active leaders in WAR by left-handed starting pitchers born in Mexico in Jaime Garcia and Jorge De La Rosa, the opposition starters last night and tonight. In recognition of that fact, tonight we get the tasty Mexican beer in the funny-looking bottle, Negra Modelo. Gan bei. –by Michael