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Gameday: Astros (73-85) at Phillies (92-66)

Posted by Brian Michael, Thu, October 01, 2009 06:26 PM | Comments: 79
Gameday 2009, Posts

Houston Astros (73-85) at Philadelphia Phillies (92-66)

Felipe Paulino, RHP (2-11, 6.51 ERA) vs. Cliff Lee, LHP (14-12, 3.19 ERA)

Time: 7:05 p.m at Citizens Bank Park
Weather: Mostly Cloudy, 56
TV:Comcast Sportsnet
Twitter: Phillies Nation

Whew! After a September scare, the Phillies and their fans can both exhale; and hopefully enjoy these next four games.  That said, there is still a lot to play for, like home-field advantage and a roster spot for some guys.

For Cliff Lee tonight will be a chance to fine tune for the playoffs and end the season on a high note.  He has been inconsistent after an electric start since coming to the Phillies.  In his last outing, he coughed up seven runs in six innings against the Brewers.  After tallying that start, his 226 innings this season led all major league pitchers.  Maybe Charlie Manuel will encore last night’s dramatic pitching change with Brad Lidge by pulling Lee earlier than usual.

The Astros meantime counter with 2-11 Felipe Paulino who has been the victim of poor run support (among other things) all season long.  Paulino has a 8.37 ERA on the road and 8.42 at night which means another sellout crowd in brisk conditions might spell trouble for the 25-year old righty.  He is mainly a fastball, curve, slider pitcher and has given up 120 hits in 92.2 innings this season.

As for the lineup, look for a usual starter or two to take a seat on the bench for the majority of tonight’s game. Charlie Manuel said he knows some of his players could use a rest. “I think I can do it. It’s not like I’m going to take three or four out of the lineup at the same time.” In the past five season, he has led the Phillies to an NL-best 217-143 record in the second half of the season – so he might know what he’s doing.

Imperial Pumpkin AleYour Gameday Beer – Imperial Pumpkin Ale
Happy October folks! One of the benefits of playoff baseball is that your beer stays cold at that game. A cold, but not frosty, pumpkin ale is a great way to enjoy prepare yourself for the challenge ahead. This hearty Pennsylvania brew come full of sweet nectar, spiced flavors. Have it with some roast beef and sweet potatoes. – By Brian

GO PHILLIES!

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Brian Michael has written 1138 articles on Phillies Nation.

Brian is the CEO of Phillies Nation which he founded in July of 2004.

 
 
  • Posts: 0 SDO

    Utley, Ruiz, and Victorino have the night off… Bruntlett, Bako, and Francisco are starting.

     
  • Posts: 0 j reed

    where did your read about Park’s clearwater rehab start?

     
  • Posts: 0 Ed R.

    you know, I don’t care per say that they win, even though they have a chance at the best record in the NL, what I do however care about is that Lee not look like garbage on the mound, which, so far he does.

     
  • Posts: 0 "Runt"-- Jim Hoffmann

    Is it possible that Cliff Lee is not all that, and a bag of chips. Is he a mirage that will fool us in the playoffs? We already know that Cole Hamels will not be 100%, or am I being too pessimistic.

     
  • Posts: 0 joedad

    j reed – Twitter, Todd Zolecki

     
  • Posts: 0 j reed

    Thanks, too bad i don’t twitter…

    I was out…did Lee give up a two run dinger?

     
  • Posts: 0 Colorado Joe

    Lee’s performance tonight will probably go a long way toward whether or not he starts game 1. I’m not sure what I want in that regard… I hope the Phils get homefield, and that I will be able to walk to game 3 with the Phils up 2-0!

     
  • Posts: 0 Manny

    Oh man… cmon Clifton, I wanna see you shut them down for the next 6 innings.

     
  • Posts: 0 j reed

    CO Joe – So does everyone have Rox fever there or does the town forget baseball once the Broncos season begins?

     
  • Posts: 0 Jeff

    Lee is worrying me a little. Whats up with Bako with these interferance calls.

     
  • Posts: 0 j reed

    Well at least the Braves are gone from W.Card contention. At least I think so. I wouldn’t want to face the Braves pitching for 5 games.

     
  • Posts: 0 j reed

    man has there ever been a batter with a more obvious tell than feliz bailing on a slider. still has been playing well.

     
  • Posts: 0 Ed R.

    yes j-reed the Braves are toast. Rockies won today and sealed the deal. I kind of wish they would pass the Dodgers, i’d rather face L.A in the first round.

     
  • Posts: 0 Andrew

    I was trying to not watch and take a break tongiht but I am tuned over. Glad chase is off would like him to get another day off too maybe pinch hit.

     
  • Posts: 0 j reed

    good no tomahawk chop….I can wait 6 more months to see Jair Jurgins. If the the Mets stay healthy, the Marlins don’t replace the entire team with 10 cents a game Dominicians, and the Nats. learn a modicum of baserunnung and fielding, it will be a pretty tough division next year. If the the Nats. get some pitching then it will be a brutal division

     
  • Posts: 0 j reed

    finally a dp from the MLB GIDP leading Astros

     
  • Posts: 0 Colorado Joe

    Having lived in Philly till age 30, (36 now) I am surprised at how many people are talking about the Rockies. It is more of a baseball town in Denver than I would have thought before I arrived. People care more about the Broncos than the Rockies, but I saw plenty of Rockies stuff being worn even before the Rockies turned around their season. I have half-heartedly adopted the Rockies as a second team, except when they face the Phils. I wish I had been in Philly when the city got off the championship snide. There is a place called Pat’s Steaks in Denver which is a very cool Philly sports bar. It’s a good place for Penn State games, Eagles games and especially the Phillies for playoff games. The place was electric when the Phils won last year. Colorado is beautiful enough to have lots of transplants, including people from Philly.

     
  • Posts: 0 Andrew

    The mets suck and are losers
    Staying healthy has nothing to fo with it.

     
  • Posts: 0 j reed

    CO Joe – how cold does it get there?

     
  • Posts: 0 mikeB

    j reed; back at the beginning of the year during spring training I think it was Manuel that was talking about Feliz who was coming off of off-season back surgery and Charlie stated that he thought that Pedro might improve at the plate in the coming season and hit 20-25 home runs and increase his RBI production. Looks like Feliz came up a bit short of that expectation.

     
  • Posts: 0 Ed R.

    Maybe we should let Francisco lead off all the time?

     
  • Posts: 0 Ed R.

    that was a hell of a play by Tejada…now that he is off the juice and slimmed down a bit I guess he is more mobile.

     
  • Posts: 0 Colorado Joe

    J Reed, last winter we had less snow in downtown Denver then there was in Philly. Two years ago winter was pretty harsh however with some significant blizzards.. Snow starts later in the year but ends later as well. The weather changes can be abrupt in a single day. There is a saying out here that if you don’t like the weather, wait an hour cause it will change.

    I don’t like that our offense has done nothing against a pitcher who has done so poorly this year. I think when the playoffs start people can and will get hot. I hope so anyway.

     
  • Posts: 0 j reed

    MikeB. – yeah I’m still happy with his performance esp. earlier in the year when he was hitting for contact. Both he an ruiz really helped the offense when they had to make-up for the putrid staring pitching. Still I’d wet my pants and mule drugs for the Mexican mafia if we picked up CHONE FIGGINS who’ll be a free agent in 2010. Also ADRIAN BELTRE is available. Maybe he and Ichiro were watching Ibanez celebrate last night. Afterall the Marniers, Rangers and A’s should write a book “How to Gift Wrap a Division for the Angels”

     
  • Posts: 0 Manny

    Oh. No.

     
  • Posts: 0 Ed R.

    I think Feliz will be back personally.

     
  • Posts: 0 "Runt"-- Jim Hoffmann

    J reed —- I also like Chone Figgins…. a really solid leadoff man and good third baseman. Also, a switch hitter. Move Rollins to Feliz’ seventh spot and we will strengthen our overall lineup and take pressure off Jimy.

     
  • Posts: 0 teejvee

    Another horsebleep outing for Lee.
    Very disappointing.
    There just ain’t nuthin there IMO.
    Gets ripped.

     
  • Posts: 0 joedad

    I’d take Figgins in a heartbeat but want no part of Beltre. He had one good contract year and has been average since then. I’d rather have Pedro for another year.

     
  • Posts: 0 j reed

    joedad – off hand, do you how well Feliz and Beltre match-up fielding wise?

     
  • Posts: 0 joedad

    No I don’t.

     
  • Posts: 0 "Runt"-- Jim Hoffmann

    I hope the Phils get a better utility player than Bruntlett next year. This guy has no bat. He really is a minor leaguer.

     
  • Posts: 0 j reed

    Runt – my thoughts exactly. also Figgins fielding stats are a mile long…he’s the ultimate swiss army knife of utlility men. Do you think we might aquire him?

     
  • Posts: 0 joedad

    Hit submit too early. No I don’t but based on your question I assume Beltre is better.

    My assessment is based on him having a monster offensive year followed by a monster contract and being a dud since then. I can’t trust a player like that.

     
  • Posts: 0 mikeB

    Adrian Beltre’s production really dropped off this year. Only played 107 games. Maybe he was out injured on the DL this year but I do not know for certain what all has gone on with him this season. Just 30 years old. Maybe a change of scenery would do him good. Figgins would be a great addition to the Phils. No knock on Feliz but would be nice to have a third baseman in the future with consistent production at the plate, maybe ten or more home runs than Feliz has and without a drop off in defensive play. Some one who hits into less DPs and does not swing at so much junk.

     
  • Posts: 0 charlie

    What the hell is wrong with Cliff Lee? Is his arm dead after 200+ innings this year? His last decent game was against the Nats at CBP.

     
  • Posts: 0 j reed

    joedad – i was going on Marniers rep. for being a good fielding team. I’ll check, not much going on in this game unless your rooting for the stros

     
  • Posts: 0 Ed R.

    Feliz’s career Fielding Pct at 3rd is .964 while Beltre’s is .957, not a huge difference.

    Factor in that Beltre is 4 years younger, has a career batting average 16 points higher and almost twice as many homers in 2 more years.

    Yes Beltre had a career contract year but if you look at his numbers over the course of the last few years, discounting this year due to injury, I would take him.

    He has a cannon for an arm.

     
  • Posts: 0 Ed R.

    No offense, and I like Figgins but he is not the answer. He can get on base for average and steal, I guess if you want to sign him so you have a real lead off hitter then so be it but in 6 full seasons he has 31 total home runs. His fielding is about the same as what you would get from Beltre. And he is 1 year older than Beltre, 3 years younger than Feliz.

     
  • Posts: 0 DC

    Cliff Lee is either really dominant or really crappy. There seems to be no in between (well, I guess you could say tonight was the first in between since he came here). I’m scratching my head over this one. I hope he is dominant in the playoffs.

     
  • Posts: 0 j reed

    thanks Ed R. …. I agree, I’d take Beltre….shoot the Marniers are usually stocked with good players i mean look what happens when they leave there!

     
  • Posts: 0 joedad

    I just checked on baseball-reference… he has 4 gold gloves in a row so I am sure he is a solid fielder.

    Figgins is a legit leadoff hitter, something this team hasn’t had since Dykstra??? The Phils have some salary coming off the books but have some raises to pay out next year so they might need to resign Feliz.

     
  • Posts: 0 Ed R.

    I have always been a Beltre fan. He would own the left field wall if he came here I assure you. Probably 25-30 bombs a year, easy.

     
  • Posts: 0 joedad

    Where does Lee pitch in the playoffs? Is he the #1?

     
  • Posts: 0 Andrew

    we dont want figgins trust me

    I like pedro esp if we win another series

     
  • Posts: 0 Ed R.

    The Phils hold an option on Feliz so he is theirs if they want him.

     
  • Posts: 0 mikeB

    Lee has not pitched up to expectations for most of September. The Phillies should pitch him third behind Hamels and Blanton in the playoffs. No telling now from his recent performances how he is going to pitch in the post season.

     
  • Posts: 0 Ed R.

    Lee is slated to be the number 1 as he would pitch Wednesday on normal rest.

     
  • Posts: 0 Ed R.

    Beltre has won two gold gloves. 07 and 08.

     
  • Posts: 0 pb

    didn’t get this lineup with the changes he made it should have been

    rollins
    francisco
    howard
    werth
    ibanez
    feliz
    bako
    bruntlett
    lee

     
 
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