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


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Brian Michael has written 1156 articles on Phillies Nation.

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  • Posts: 0 Ed R.

    I don’t mind the lineup though I do have an issue with moving J-roll out of the lead off. He is on track right now so to take him out of that seems to make no sense. But, they won the division for the 3rd year in a row. Clearly Charlie knows better than I do even if I sometimes wonder if that is really true.

  • Posts: 0 "Runt"-- Jim Hoffmann

    i would not mind seeing Brett Myers in another uniform next year. This guy should be a relief pitcher, not a starter or a closer. I wonder if he would accept the role of reliever with a huge pay cut from the Phils. He is no where near $10 million a year, which is what he will want. For that price you could get two Bret Myers talent wise who are indeed proven and proud to be relievers. Our bullpen will need an overhaul after this season. Why I like Figgins — not just because I am a runt myself, but because he is an excellent leadoff hitter who gets on base and makes everyone better because he can also streal. Rollins is not a leadoff hitter as his OBP is too low. But he would be a better player, I believe, if he were put in the lineup and allowed to be himself.

  • Posts: 0 Chip Snapper

    That’s me!

  • Posts: 0 joedad

    Myers is too good to be a relief pitcher IMO. He has a full arsenel of pitches that can get him through the lineup multiple times. He is a number 2 on many staffs, 3 on good teams.

  • Posts: 0 Jeff

    I am really suprised the Phillies did not go after this one. There should be no problem winning the rest. We could have home field which would help this year. You have three days off after our last game. Lee is really really worrying me. My buddy calls him a one hit wonder. I thought we would beat up on the astros who are just plain bad and the marlins. have the number one seed. guess not.

  • Posts: 0 Eric Bruntlett

    Give me a chance coach. I know I can do it. Just give me the Jeltz.

  • Baseballbriefs.com tracking back Gameday: Astros (73-85) at Phillies (92-66)…

    Baseballbriefs.com tracking back Gameday: Astros (73-85) at Phillies (92-66)…

  • Posts: 0 jt

    whats the deal with cliff lee he isn’t looking good at all and the astros are a team he should be shuting down they suck…i not sure about him in the playoffs if he can’t shut down the astros.

  • Posts: 0 mikeB

    Should have pinch hit for Bruntlett to try to get this game tonight. Bruntlett got five at bats with nothing to show; 3 Ks with 7 runners stranded.

  • Posts: 0 j reed

    Jeff – besides Cliff “where’d my two seamer go” Lee laying another egg, well at least it wasn’t a rotten one but an egg nonetheless, its the STROS, a vertiable thorn in our side. Before our 3 division tiltles, before baby jesus brought us Hamels, didn’t seem like the Stros were always keeping us from the wild card?

  • Posts: 0 Eric Bruntlett

    jt, poor pitch location. He could be worn down like he was last year in September. he had an extra day of rest before this start and, if he is the game 1 pitcher, will have an extra day of rest. Hopefully that and a shot of adreniline from the crowd and his first playoff game will be what gets him going again.

  • Posts: 0 joedad

    I want to see a Bruntlett walk off

  • Posts: 0 j reed

    mikeB. – while bruntlett is not a great player, it’s pretty difficult to have not seen major league pitching for a month and not struggle.. A struggling Stair or Dobbs would be different because that ‘s what their job is, too come off the bench cold and hit.

    Yo Feliz making a case for another year…Like it!

  • Posts: 0 jt

    they should of pinch hit utley for cairo but o’well would of been something if they did come back.

  • Posts: 0 mikeB

    Well, on a positive note, they got 13 hits tonight but on the downside, did not get the two or three clutch hits when they needed them with runners on base. Some regulars were rested which may benefit them in the playoffs. Bruntlett for the Jeltz which might be too easy or unfair to award because most would expect that he probably would not do much at the plate, so then the Jeltz could go to Lee or Werth. Werth grounded out earlier with the sacks loaded.

  • Posts: 0 j reed

    Lee gets the Jeltz, it’s time for the 08′ Cy Young to show up….

  • Posts: 0 mikeB

    Jreed; yeah, I understand that for the first four plate appearances that Bruntlett had but you just stated the case for why Brunlett should have been pinch hit for for his fifth time up.

  • Posts: 0 Phan in TN

    a part of me is laughing at the braves but that’s the mean, “drive-by booing” evil Phillies Phan part of me. I have one braves fan friend who is not a sister kisser and I asked him if he likes apples.

  • Posts: 0 j reed

    Jt – Rest means rest in my book unless your desperate…what would have happened had the game gone into extra innings.

  • Posts: 0 mikeB

    I disagree about Feliz. The Phils could use an offensive upgrade who is consistent at the plate.

  • Posts: 0 j reed

    Mkie B. – like i said to Jt rest means rest. I just happen to know alot about sports physiology and training so that’s where I coming from. Alot of it has to do with neurochemistry, resetting muscle memory and rebuliding glycogen stores and neurotransmitters more so than just simple muscle fatigue.

  • Posts: 0 ralph

    My cat’s breath smells like cat food

  • Posts: 0 j reed

    mike B. – i’d really like Chone Figgins ….Feliz just always seems to redeem himself right about the time i really am giving up on him.
    Figgins has fielded every position but catcher and first base. that’s impressive…lot’s of baseball IQ comes with that versitlity. I’d take either him or Beltre , but how often do you find a guy who can play 3rd base and CF. that’s meshuggenah. Plus a legit contact lead-off guy…i get tired of hearing – “when jimmy goes, so go the Phils”…if that’s how the team works wouldn’t a heady .300 batter be a better lead-off guy than Jimmy. Besides and i’m just generalizing about power hitters, do we want another steaky power hitter if that’s what Beltre is? Sometimes it hard to tell whether a player is streaky by the basic numbers and I don’t have the time to watch alot of Marniers baseball to know their players well enough to make such a call.

  • Posts: 0 mikeB

    j reed; do you think that Manuael and all his coaches know and understand about sports physiology and training and do you think that they manage with all that in mind?

    My thinking is is that Jimmy Rollin’s offensive talents would be better used in the latter part of the batting order to give it more punch. The Phils could push to get Figgins and then you would have a great lead off hitter. Bringing in Beltre would not solve the lead off hitter problem. We would have a lineup of mostly all home run hitters if he were brought in. Live by the HR and die by the HR.

  • Posts: 0 mikeB

    j reed;—and that is very impressive, Figgin’s versitility, in addition to being a leadoff hitter. Phils should go for it.

  • Posts: 0 j reed

    mike B. – No i don’t…MLB and baseball doesn’t. They have improved upon things but you still see a rise in chronic overuse injuries when 1] peds are not pervalent anymore , at least not enough to taint any data 2] our medical technology and knowledge improves , it’s a sign that there is something intrinsically wrong with baseball’s approach to training. I’m mean the failure rate alone of propsecpts speaks volumes. Hearing phrases about pitchers like “get their arm stretched out…”What are they stretching out….ligaments? Because provided there is no restriction in a joint’s range of motion or no anatomical exceptions then it’s real easy to achieve maximum flexibility of the upper body of a professional pitcher in less that a week. Were not talking a front or full side split…even that much lower body flexibility is unecessary for the demands of baseball. This just happens to be one of litany of outragous crap that falls out of the mouth of baseball. It a complicated subject about which if your interested in let me know. Just don’t what write out a page of stuff unless your interested. And stretching out ligaments takes forever and is not advised because it compromises joint stability. Is that their actual intention , I don’t know but alot of the injuries pitchers experience is to connective tissue i.e. ligament and tendons. Bottom line the game would need alot of restructuring to change things but baseball is stubborn …it’s been doing things their way long before this information was available to them and it hard to overcome. But they did it for track and field and and track and field is way older than baseball. .

  • Posts: 0 j reed

    Mike B. – hell ya…and he’s a hustle player a la eckstein…philly type of guy to the core

  • Posts: 0 j reed

    Mike B. – peds in track and field different issue but the training methodologies are top flight

  • Posts: 0 Jamison Jedlicka

    Hey, this blog was returned in a google listing on medical uniforms, it was roughly exactly what I envisaged but seeing your article I’m happy it did. Continue the excellent work

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