Joe Blanton (9-6, 3.80 ERA) vs. Livan Hernandez (7-10, 5.44 ERA)
Time: 7:05 p.m at Nationals Park
Weather: Cloudy and Windy, 65
Twitter: Phillies Nation
What cures all that ails? How about the Washington Nationals. The Philles took the trip to D.C. having been swept by the Astros in Houston. The Nats are giving the Phils something to smile about again, even after two close games.
Pedro Martinez and Cliff Lee have each walked away with wins to start the series, and Joe Blanton goes for the turnaround sweep tonight. The bad news here is that Blanton has not fared well in the Nation’s Capital, going 0-1 in three career games, with an ERA north of six. The good news is that Blanton has been superb for two straight months. He hasn’t given up more than three earned in a game since June 18. Opposing him is rubber-armed Livan Hernandez. The hefty righty is 10-9 against the Phils in his career, sporting a 3.67 ERA.
Last night, the longballs kept coming for the Phillies, as they smacked two more solo shots thanks to Jayson Werth and Pedro Feliz. They went back-to-back in the 8th inning, giving the team the support it needed en route to the 6-5 win. With those two solo homers, the Phillies have now hit 15 straight home runs without men on base, a crazy stat when you think about how often the Phils have players on base.
Ryan Madson came on for his sixth save of the season. Noticeably absent was Brad Lidge. Charlie Manuel said today that he wants to put Lidge in a situation where he can succeed. “If we’re behind in the game or we’re ahead or something by a good margin we’ll get him to make sure he pitches live in the game and things,” Manuel said. “That’s kind of how I look at it.”
Tonight’s Lineup: Rollins (SS)/ Victorino (CF)/ Utley (2B)/ Howard (1B)/ Ibanez (LF)/ Werth (RF)/ Feliz (3B)/ Ruiz (C)/ Blanton (P).
Your Gameday Beer – Hofbrau Oktoberfestbier
It’s not quite October, but we’re breaking out the Oktoberfestbier for tonight’s tailgate party in Lot W. This refreshing brew hails from one of Germany’s largest brewers, affectionately known as HB. It’s a break from all the recent IPAs – there are barely any hop flavors in this one, just smooth pale malts and earthy yeast. We’re grilling hamburgers and hot dogs, so I suggest you do the same. – By Brian