It is getting to be that time of the season for this Phillies core group… either put up or shut up. The team has two more games on this devilish 10-game road trip to make a statement before they come home for the last 10-games before the All-Star Game. Jimmy Rollins said last month that the veterans understand they have to contend or this team might be broken up. A series win against the first-place Pirates followed by a successful homestand is a step in that direction.
It won’t be easy. The Bucs had won nine straight before Jonathan Pettibone and beat them last night. The Phils face lefty Jeff Locke on Wednesday, who hasn’t lost since his opening start and has a 1.07 ERA over his last eight. Locke dominated the Phillies lineup in April, allowing only two hits in six shutout innings of a 2-0 Pirates win. The Phils will counter with John Lannan who had his best start (and only win) as a Phillie last Friday in Los Angeles.
The Phillies are without Ryan Howard on Wednesday, who admitted his knee was sore after last night’s win. Before collecting two hits and an RBI last night, Howard had been 0 for his last 20 at-bats with 11 strikeouts. That slides Domonic Brown into the clean-up spot and the suddenly hot Delmon Young into the five-hole. Young is hitting .462 with nine RBIs through the first eight games of this road trip.
Lineup: M. Young 3B, Utley 2B, Rollins SS, Brown LF, D. Young RF, Mayberry 1B, Revere CF, Ruiz C, Lannan P
Smithwicks has been around forever yet it never gets old. This red ale is one of the most common Irish brews and is perfect if you are in that Irish mood and want something lighter than a Guinness and a bit more than a Harp lager. It might not jump out at you, but you know that you are going to get a consistently solid beer, and a lot of times, that is enough.