Saturday, August 21, 2010
The Big Piece To Piece It Back Together
The Big Piece, Charlie Manuel's petname for Ryan Howard, was 1-2 in his first rehab game yesterday with Lakewood. Howard knocked in a run, giving him the franchise record for the BlueClaws on the day he also had his jersey number retired there...aw, how special. Today he plays for Triple-A Lehigh Valley in what might be his final game to knock the rust off with a possible return to the Phillies lineup on Sunday. Inserting The Big Piece back into the lineup will surely help the offense, no offense to Ross Gload and Mike Sweeney. With nearly the entire lineup on the DL at one time or another this season they have not had much opportunity to play together as a cohesive unit, and what better time then the stretch drive in the hunt for October. Things are about to get really exciting in Philly again, which is a far cry from the sorrow and angst fans had this time of year in the late 90's and early 00's.
Odds & Ends:
*Roy Halladay continued Beast-Mode last night, going 7 shutout innings and lowering his slim ERA to 2.16. He now has pitched 200 innings exactly on the season. Awesome.
*Stephen Strasburg gets his first taste of Philly tonight. I've seen him pitch multiple times, and he is the real deal, but I hope the Phils absolutely obliterate him. 100 mph fastballs travel a long distance in warm August air when the bat connects just right. He's opposed on the mound by Kyle Kendrick. Go get that respect KK!
*Phillies remain 2.5 back of the Braves in the NL East and a game ahead of the Giants for the Wild Card.