It’s the beginning of the end for the Phillies. They finish out the 2011 season against their divisional rival on the road. However, the Braves have plenty more riding on this series than do the Phils. With a good showing, Atlanta will secure a playoff spot. But, they’re up just one game on the St. Louis Cardinals meaning any slip up in the next three days could mean they fall out of the postseason; something that was all but assured for Atlanta not even a month ago. They went cold at the very moment that St. Louis got hot and here we are. A photo finish is ahead.
What does this mean for the Phillies? Well, if the Cards overtake the Braves in the Wild Card standings, the Phillies will head to STL for games three and four (if necessary) in the NLDS. If Atlanta hangs on, it comes down to Milwaukee or Arizona. So there is plenty to watch for in the next 72+ hours. Postseason baseball is nearly upon us, but before that can happen it’ll be hell of an ending in the National League.
In this game, unfortunately, Cliff Lee cannot win himself the NL Cy Young award. That looks to be going to Clayton Kershaw, who has basically locked up the pitching Triple Crown. According to Jayson Stark, if Lee were to throw nine shutout innings tonight, he would fall short of Kershaw’s ERA mark by 0.01. Ah well. The Phillies are in the playoffs while the Dodgers hope to find a money tree somewhere in Chavez Ravine. Lee – and Roy Halladay for that matter – have had unbelievable seasons.
The Phillies will put their full lineup out there tonight as they look to build a little continuity. On Sunday against the Mets, nine runs with the regulars was a nice start. All we can ask for tonight is to see some hard hit balls and good, clean play in the field.
What do you think of this new look lineup with Chase batting 2nd and Polanco seemingly buried?
Lineup: Rollins SS, Utley 2B, Pence RF, Howard 1B, Victorino CF, Ibanez LF, Polanco 3B, Ruiz C, Lee P
GAMEDAY BEER: Philadephia Lager
Brewed by Red Bell Brewery out of the Brewerytown neighborhood of Philadelphia, this beer is a classic microbrew lager. It’s a bit heavier than Yuengling, with more of a roasted malt flavor and some sweet coffee and caramel hints. Its supreme drinkability coupled with a pour that looks like iced tea means you can sneakily house several of these bad boys. Have your favorite pasta with some marinara sauce and a few Philly Lagers. – By Brian