The Phillies welcome the Cubs to town tonight, who are one of three National League teams with a record worse than the Phils 50-61. To put it plainly, the Phillies have been in a free fall since the All-Star break. They have lost 13 of 14 games and have been swept in three of five series since the Mid-Summer Classic. Not only are they no longer in contention for a playoff spot, but with a run differential of minus 88 (second worst in MLB), they look like one of the worst teams in baseball.
The good news for Phillies fans is that they’ll get to see All-Star left fielder Domonic Brown again a day early, as he is back in the lineup tonight after being out since July 23 with a concussion. Brown had three hits and a home run last night in a rehab start in Class-A Lakewood. Brown will play left field and Darin Ruf will play right, despite never playing there previously in his professional career. Ruf was reportedly taking fly balls in right field at around 3 o’clock today. Laynce Nix (.486 OPS) was designated for assignment to make room for Brown, and Delmon Young, at least for now, appears to be the odd man out from a playing time standpoint (and rightfully s0).
Kyle Kendrick will be on the mound for the Phils, who had a horrendous July after a very solid first half of the season. Kendrick gave up 21 earned runs on 38 hits in 25.2 innings in July for an ERA of 7.36. In a season where it looked like he had turned a corner, the 28-year-old righty now has a 4.29 ERA, which is nearly identical to his career mark. He will try to get back on track against Edwin Jackson and the Cubs, who have lost four in a row. Nate Schierholtz, who the Phils non-tendered before the season in favor of Nix, will bat cleanup for Chicago. He has an OPS of .827, which would rank second to Brown among Phillies with 100+ at-bats.
Lineup: Young 1B, Utley 2B, Rollins SS, Brown LF, Ruf RF, Mayberry CF, Asche 3B, Ruiz C, Kendrick 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.