What a difference a week can make.
This time last week, the Phillies were defeating the Brewers for their fifth straight win, catapulting them over the .500 mark for the first time all season. At that time, things were looking up, as the Phils looked to finally be rounding into form.
They haven’t won a game since, following up their 5-game win streak with five straight losses. If they lose tonight, it’ll be the first time this season they’ve lost six in a row. It will also mark the third time this season they’ve been five games below .500. What makes this particular losing streak even more painful is the fact that it’s come against bottom feeders like the Milwaukee Brewers and Minnesota Twins–teams good clubs will beat.
Luckily for the Phils, Cliff Lee is on the mound tonight. Lee has easily been their best starter this season, and they desperately need a vintage performance from him. Lee’s been pretty good against the Twins over the course of his career, posting a 3.64 ERA. He has never faced them at pitcher-friendly Target Field.
You may remember Twins starter Kevin Correia from his NL days with the Giants, Padres and Pirates. The 11-year veteran is in the AL now, and Phillies fans should lament that fact, as he’s posted a career 8.64 ERA against the Fightin’s. Of course, most of that came against competent offenses. We’ll see if this batch can pound him the way the Phils of days gone by used to. At this point, I’m not counting on it.
Lineup: Revere CF, M. Young 3B, Rollin SS, Howard 1B, Brown LF, D. Young DH, Nix RF, Galvis 2B, Quintero C
The Phils are in Minnesota, just a stone’s throw from the Canadian border. Nothing says Northern United States/Canada more than maple syrup. That’s the idea behind this offering from the Colorado-based Tommyknockers brewery. This brown ale has a malty taste with a hint of maple, and it is my favorite beer by Tommyknockers (though I like all of their brews). Have it with some flapjacks and make it a true Minnesotan night. – RD