Philadelphia Phillies (26-18) at New York Mets (23-23)
Joe Blanton (1-2, 5.06 ERA) at Hisanori Takahashi (3-1, 2.53 ERA)
Time: 7:10, Citi Field
Weather: Partly cloudy, 86
TV: Comcast SportsNet
The conventional wisdom said the Phillies would be comfortably in first place in late May. It also said the Flyers would be on the golf course.
But in sports, the conventional wisdom is all too often wrong. Don’t believe me? Grab a copy of “The Wages of Wins” by David Berri, Martin Schmidt and Stacey Brook. The authors are all sports fans who happen to be economists, and they make compelling cases as to why many of the beliefs regarded as canon in sports aren’t borne out by the numbers. Their research is thorough, and as a bonus, the book is an enjoyable read, too.
While the last three games have been anything but enjoyable for Phils fans, with the team having been shut out twice and held scoreless in 28 of 29 innings, an economist would say that it simply can’t hold up. The silent Phillies offense (which has batted a mind-numbing .203 and scored 15 runs in the past seven games) will crackle back to life – it’s just a matter of when and where.
What’s not helping with that are ever-present injuries. In addition to Jimmy Rollins being back on the DL, Carlos Ruiz acknowledged today that his right shoulder has been bothering him for, oh, about five weeks. He’s not in the lineup tonight but hopes to return tomorrow. The question remains of when – or if – his shoulder will be right.
Joe Blanton takes the ball for the Phillies tonight, and if anyone has the credentials to pitch a gem in Flushing, it’s Big Joe, who is 2-0 with a 1.59 ERA in four starts against the Mets in his career.
Tonight’s Lineup: Victorino CF, Polanco 3B, Utley 2B, Howard 1B, Werth RF, Francisco LF, Valdez SS, Schneider C, Blanton P
Your Gameday Beer – Golden Cap Saison Ale
Lately, runs for the Phillies have been slightly rarer than flying monkeys. So while you wait for the offense to come around, grab one (or more) of these – it has a huge winged monkey on the label. It’s a farmhouse ale with faint lemon and yeast flavors which go down smooth – a definite summer ale. I’m drinking one right now and recommend a savory crepe with it. – By Brian