Philadelphia Phillies (85-46) at Cincinnati Reds (67-68)
Cliff Lee (14-7, 2.71) vs. Dontrelle Willis (0-3, 4.10)
After a close win Monday and a laugher Tuesday, the Phillies look to win a four-game series in Cincinnati early tonight by riding Cliff Lee to victory.
Lee is on a roll again, a winner in each of his last five starts and holder of a 0.58 ERA in August. This Reds team, though, could present some problems.
Combined, this collection of Reds have hit .345/.373/.571 off Lee. Miguel Cairo, batting fifth tonight, is 8-for-16 against Lee with two doubles and a triple.
One Red who has killed Lee won’t be in the lineup, though. Scott Rolen (8-for-17, four XBH) has been limited to 65 games this year due to shoulder problems.
The Phillies used to see Willis a ton, but haven’t since 2007. During that year, they lit him up to the tune of a 7.00 ERA and .331 opponent’s batting average in five starts. Willis has bounced around from team-to-team, between the majors and minors largely due to psychological and mechanical control issues.
But he’s been a little better this year, reducing his walk-per-nine rate to the level it was at in 2006 and 2007, when he was only slightly ineffective.
This lineup hasn’t hit Willis particularly well at all (.217/.276/.328), but Ryan Howard has had some success in a small sample.
Hopefully Howard can have another big night, it would be nice for him to experience one of his patented hot streaks before 2011 ends.
Lineup: Victorino CF, Polanco 3B, Utley 2B, Howard 1B, Pence RF, Mayberry LF, Ruiz C, Valdez SS, Halladay P.
Your Gameday Beer: Kalik.
This is the King of Beers in the Bahamas. The brew was designed by Heineken for the Commonwealth Brewery based on the tastes of the islanders. As you can imagine, it has all the qualities of an ice-cold Bud or Corona – fizzy, yellow, and way too easy to drink on a hot summer day. Fortunately you can find the beer in America and even at some supermarkets. Make some fancy mac-n-cheese with ham or bacon in it. -By Brian