if I was back in London, maybe a tall pint of John Smith's Extra Smooth or whatever ale or bitter was being served. But instead, I'm in Central PA awaiting tonight's keystone state hardball showdowns while enyoing some Diet Mountain Dew......
For the Phils, Cory Lidle faces off against the Braves' Jorge Sosa and his 23.14 ERA and 4.29 WHIP. Sounds good. But the way the season is going, I'm skeptical. After all, Sosa was notorious last year for putting many runners on base but stranding them (1.40 WHIP but only a 2.55 ERA). By comparison, Lidel had a lower WHIP (1.35) than Sosa but carried a 4.53 ERA through last season. Given this information and the Phils inability to hit with runners on base, I predict a very frustrating evening.
The Buccos run out rookie Paul Maholm to face the Dodgers and Brett Tomko, who beat the Phils last Friday with 6 inning of work. The Bucs are coming off a night where Burnitz, Doumit, J Wilson, and C Wilson all hit their second homers in a come from behind win. And they need all the HR they can get, because Chris Duffy still can't get on base (.182 OBP), so manufacturing runs is just not happening. Maholm, like the other Pirates rookie/soph starting pitchers, is struggling, and it's anybody's guess when things will turn around. Jose Cruz is sick, so we'll have another Ricky Ledee sighting in LF tonight. FYI, Ricky Ledee is second all-time in PH homeruns for the Phillies, behind only Cy Williams, who as a dead pull lefthander fit perfectly into the short RF of the Baker Bowl in the 1920's.