Florida Marlins (6-5) at Philadelphia Phillies (8-2)
Ricky Nolasco (0-0, 5.68) vs. Jamie Moyer (1-0, 7.50)
Time: 7:05, Citizens Bank Park
Weather: Partly cloudy, 54 degrees
TV: Comcast SportsNet
Twitter: @philliesnation and below
Kyle Kendrick’s frightening first two starts of the season put pressure squarely on one other member of the Phillies’ rotation: Jamie Moyer. If Kendrick’s struggles continue but the 47-year-old Moyer pitches moderately well, the Phillies probably will be able to get by – even if it means yanking Kendrick from the rotation and calling up a replacement from Triple-A Lehigh Valley – until Joe Blanton returns. (Blanton is set to make his first rehab start for Single-A Lakewood on Tuesday, putting him on track to return to the Phils in early May.)
On the other hand, if Moyer also fails to pitch consistently, the Phillies have a problem. In his season debut last Saturday, Moyer had a subpar outing against the Astros at Minute Maid Park, allowing five two-out runs in the third inning but rebounding to last six innings and ride the Ryan Howard Express to victory.
For Moyer’s second start of the season, two opposing trends collide. On one hand, we have the crafty veteran’s hypnotic powers against the Marlins (13-4, 2.93 ERA), a perpetually young team whose lineup has never met a pitch it didn’t think it could jack 450 feet into the upper deck. But last season the Fish seemed to finally figure out Moyer, beating him three times, including once each in August and September (to Moyer’s credit, the Phils scored a total of three runs in those games).
As pressing as the questions about the Phillies’ pitching staff are, their lineup has been a industrial-strength bottle of Wite-Out, erasing most of the crooked numbers put up by the team’s pitchers – speaking of which, does anyone use Wite-Out anymore? Well, considering his age and experience, if anyone on the Phillies roster knows the value of Wite-Out, it’s Jamie Moyer.
Your gameday beer: Truly one of the best beers in the world, Rodenbach Grand Cru, a Flanders red ale, is an absolute treat. Brewed with aged malt and yeast and then mixed with other old ales, it’s a fine collection of all-natural flavors — with a name befitting the Phillies roster. Has a distinct cherry taste. You can get it at Monk’s in Philly. I suggest it. Drink it with some smoked halibut.
– Timothy Malcolm