Philadelphia Phillies (57-34) at New York Mets (46-45)
Vance Worley, RHP (4-1, 2.20 ERA) vs. R.A. Dickey, RHP (4-7, 3.61 ERA)
There isn’t much coherent to say about this game, so let’s boil it down to bullet points:
- First and most importantly, doesn’t it feel great to be back from the All-Star break? I think they have that day off after the ASG for the same reason your girlfriend will suddenly and inexplicably stop returning your calls for 36 hours: you need me, remember? If you screw up, this is what it will be like all the time… Well, I miss you, baseball, and don’t ever leave me again.
- Who let the Mets back above .500?
- Vance Worley has a 4-1 record and a 2.20 ERA? I don’t think anyone really believes he’s that good long-term, but even adjusting for some external factors, such as his .259 opponent BABIP, he’s been worth nearly a full win above replacement (by FanGraphs) with a 4.05 xFIP, which ain’t bad for a 23-year-old rookie fifth starter.
- I am of two minds regarding R.A. Dickey. When he’s not pitching against the Phillies, I think it’s really cool that he was an academic All-American in college, and that he throws a knuckleball, and that he physically cannot have Tommy John surgery because he was born without a UCL in his right elbow. On the other hand, he’s the same slop-thrower the Phillies can’t figure out no matter how often they see him, the guy who was a single from Cole Hamels and a walk to Wilson Valdez of all people away from chucking a perfect game last August. So for tonight, at least, screw him.
- The Phillies are entering the Padres Reliever Sweepstakes, as ESPN’s Buster Olney called La Furia Roja the “frontrunners“ to land either closer Heath Bell and/or one of his caddies, Mike Adams and Chad Qualls. Combined with the troika of Madson, Stutes, and Tony No-Dad, as well as, potentially, one or both of Jose Contreras and Brad Lidge, that would make for an impressive bullpen indeed.
Lineup: Rollins SS, Martinez 3B, Utley 2B, Howard 1B, Ibanez LF, Ruiz C, Brown RF, Mayberry CF, Worley P
GAMEDAY BEER: Butterbeer
The final installment of the Harry Potter movie series came out this week, while we were on break, so let’s take this opportunity to honor one of the seminal works of fiction for our generation by imbibing the classic drink from the series while watching tonight’s game. According to the website drinksmixer.com, you can make butterbeer by mixing one part butterscotch schnapps with eight parts cream soda. Several more involved, nonalcoholic recipes can be found here.