Ryne Sandberg returns to Wrigley Field today for the first time ever as a big league manager. The Hall of Fame second baseman turned Phillies manager spent 15 years on the North Side of Chicago, earning 10 All-Star berths and nine consecutive gold gloves for the Cubs after coming over from the Phillies in a lopsided trade that netted the Phils only Ivan DeJesus. Wrigley is always a festive atmosphere for day games and today should be no different. Expect a warm welcome for Ryno, whose No. 23 was retired by the Cubs in 2005.
On the field, today marks the second major league start for Roy Halladay since returning from surgery. Doc was solid in his first start back last Sunday, surrendering only four hits and two earned runs over six innings and earning the win against the Diamondbacks, which was only his third of the season. Halladay will become a free agent after the season and has expressed interest in sticking around in Philly. Each of his remaining starts is critical in determining what the 36-year-old has left in the tank.
The Phils had shown signs of life lately, winning seven of nine before ultimately splitting a four-game series with the Mets. They’ll look to get back on track this afternoon at Wrigley Field, which tends to be an unpredictable environment for baseball weather-wise. The forecast calls for sun and temperatures around 90, so if the wind is blowing out this could be an exciting one. Halladay is opposed by Cubs fireballer Jeff Samardzija, who has tailed off significantly after a promising start to the season. Samardzija has an ERA over five in July and August.
Lineup: Young 3B, Rollins SS, Utley 2B, Brown LF, Ruiz C, Ruf 1B, Mayberry RF, Bernadina CF, Halladay 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.