Cliff Lee Kicks Off 'Squeeze Week' in St. Louis No Polly Tonight

Cliff Lee Kicks Off 'Squeeze Week' in St. Louis No Polly Tonight

The Phillies are coming off of two straight frustrating losses, including yesterday's complete game effort by Roy Halladay which didn't get the job done. It wasn't necessarily Roy's fault, obviously, as the offense once again failed to do much of anything. But Halladay was uncharacteristically walk-y, and did hand over a late lead.

No matter now as the Phils have a quick turnaround in St. Louis during "squeeze week" as Wheels told us about yesterday. "Squeeze week" was a term Wheels said former Phils broadcaster Andy Musser used to call a pair of two game series -- something about squeezing them in. We enjoyed learning the new Wheels-ism.

The Phils will face some real tough pitching over the next week or so against STL, COL, and TEX, but the good news is they start out with a favorable matchup this evening with Cliff Lee (2-3, 3.78) taking on Jake Westbrook (2-3, 6.92).

R.I.(S).P.

While Halladay wasn't his best yesterday, the offense was far worse, failing to convert on a handful of opportunities.

Whoever puts the Phillies game notes together at least has a nice sense of humor:

R.I.(S).P.: The Phillies have just 6 hits in their last 34 at-bats (.176 AVG) with runners in scoring position, dropping their season average from .274 to .267 ...

No Polly

As if those RISP numbers didn't have you down, get a load of this lineup. Placido Polanco is not in this evening's starting lineup. He says it's just a day of rest. Instead, Wilson Valdez will work the hot corner. Jimmy, Valdez, Ibanez, Howard, Mayberry (CF), Benny, Orr, Chooch, and Lee.

First pitch scheduled for 7:05 from Busch Stadium. We don't even need "everybody" to hits, just one or two guys in a key situation, na'mean? It'd be nice. Plus, you owe Cliff some support.

UPDATE: Vance Worley has been optioned to make room for Roy Oswalt.

Malcolm Jenkins is prepared for both a zombie apocalypse or Donald Trump as president

jenkins-zombie-trump.jpg

Malcolm Jenkins is prepared for both a zombie apocalypse or Donald Trump as president

A zombie apocalypse or Donald Trump becoming the President of the United States of America are both nightmare scenarios for many people. But Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins is prepared in the case of either.

At least that's what he says.

The Philadelphia Eagles have a bye this week, so Jenkins found the time to post the below video to Twitter, teaching us a little bit about his quirks.

"Something you might not know about me is that I'm a half-hearted doomsday prepper. For the last two or three years I've been silently preparing myself for a zombie apocalypse... or Donald Trump becoming President, whichever comes first. Communications, food, protection, everything, I've been stockpiling. I took a zombie survival course a couple of years ago," Jenkins said.

"Hopefully I won't have to use my skills."

 

Tonight's lineup: Tommy Joseph's last start of the year?

Tonight's lineup: Tommy Joseph's last start of the year?

Tommy Joseph, who has been missing from the lineup lately, starts at first base and bats fourth tonight.

Joseph will most likely be making his final start of the season with Ryan Howard expected to start the final games of the season. Joseph is batting just .235 against the Braves this season, but does have two home runs. The rookie first baseman has 21 home runs and 15 doubles in 104 games during his first season in the majors. 

Howard will be playing what are almost definitely his final games in a Phillies uniform this weekend vs. the Mets.

Maikel Franco bats fifth and plays third base. Franco, who has been hot lately, has three home runs and is batting .320 over his last 25 at-bats. He will look to continue his success against the Braves, as five of his 25 home runs this season have come against them.

Cameron Rupp gets a day off behind the plate and will be replaced by veteran catcher A.J. Ellis. Ellis has exceeded expectations in a short sample since coming over in the Carlos Ruiz trade last month. Ellis is 8 for 28 with a home run and nine RBIs in 10 games with the Phils. He's batting .285, which is astronomically better than his paltry .194 mark with the Dodgers. 

Part of the reason for Ellis' start could be his history against Braves starter Josh Collmenter. He is 4 for 11 with two home runs and four walks against the former Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher.

Here is tonight's lineup:

1. Cesar Hernandez, 2B
2. Freddy Galvis, SS
3. Odubel Herrera, CF
4. Tommy Joseph, 1B
5. Maikel Franco, 3B
6. Cody Asche, LF
7. A.J. Ellis, C
8. Aaron Altherr, RF
9. Jeremy Hellickson, P

And for the Braves:

1. Mallex Smith, CF
2. Dansby Swanson, SS
3. Freddie Freeman, 1B
4. Matt Kemp, LF
5. Nick Markakis, RF
6. Anthony Recker, C
7. Jace Peterson, 2B
8. Rio Ruiz, 3B
9. Josh Collmenter, P