The Phillies barely walked out of their last series alive. Dropping the first two games of the last series with the Mets until September 17, the Phillies salvaged the finale under Kyle Kendrick yesterday and pulled out a win. Still seven games under .500, the Phillies have fallen back into inconsistent game play. Going 16-12 in August, the Phillies will close out the second to last month of the season while opening a three-game set with the Wild Card-leading Atlanta Braves. Although the Phillies' chances for a playoff run gets sleeker and sleeker by the day, it doesn't mean they can't ruin the Braves' chances to get a playoff spot. Tonight Roy Halladay (8-7, 3.88 ERA) will take on Mike Minor (7-10, 4.71 ERA) in the series opener in Atlanta.
Roy Halladay is pitching better now than he was in the beginning of the season. Since coming back from the DL, Halladay is 4-2 with a 3.73 ERA. In his last start, a win against the Nationals, Doc went seven strong innings, only allowing two runs on seven hits. Although he is pitching better since being back from his DL stint, he still has a task at hand this season: beat the Braves. In two starts against the NL East foes, Doc is 0-1 with a 8.74 ERA. In his last start against them, back on July 29, Doc went six innings, allowing three earned runs on six hits while striking out seven and walking one. In his career against the Braves, Halladay is 4-2 with a 3.05 ERA.
Mike Minor is coming off of his first win in the month of August, a start against the Giants. Back on Saturday, Minor allowed three earned runs on four hits over 6 2/3 innings while striking out five. Minor has turned his season around over his past nine starts. Despite a 3-4 record, Minor has held opposing batters to a .211 average and has posted a 2.50 ERA. In Minor's last start against the Phillies, back on July 28th, he took the Phils' offense to town. In eight strong, one-run innings, Minor allowed just four earned runs while striking out nine for his first win against Philadelphia. In three career starts, Minor is 1-2 with a 3.38 ERA against the Fightin's.
Jimmy Rollins is indeed in tonight's lineup, a day removed from being removed from the game against the Mets. In the sixth inning of yesterday's Phillies-Mets game, Rollins popped up to pitcher Jonathan Niese. Rollins, being the "leader" of this team, jogged it out, believing it to be a sure-out. WRONG. Niese dropped the ball and Rollins was on first base. Had he run it out, he would have been on second base. Charlie Manuel pulled him from the game in the top of the seventh due to his lack og hustle. According to Todd Zolecki, Rollins entered Manuel's office and apologized for his lack of hustle and professionalism.
Tonight's lineup vs Bourn 8 Prado 7 Heyward 9 Jones 5 Freeman 3 McCann 2 Uggla 4 Janish 6 Minor 11. Rollins SS 1. Bourn CF
2. Frandsen 3B 2. Prado LF
3. Utley 2B 3. Heyward RF
4. Howard 1B 4. Jones 3B
5. Wigginton LF 5. Freeman 1B
6. Mayberry CF 6. McCann C
7. Kratz C 7. Uggla 2B
8. Martinez RF 8. Janish SS
9. Halladay P. 9. Minor P.
TV: CSN ; Radio: 1210 WPHT, 94 WIP.
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