Dueling Aces: Dickey vs. Hamels Tonight with Possible Ryan Howard Return Tomorrow?

Dueling Aces: Dickey vs. Hamels Tonight with Possible Ryan Howard Return Tomorrow?

A bit of surprising chatter coming out of the Phillies camp this afternoon as word on the street is that General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr. would not rule out Ryan Howard returning to the big club this weekend as they take on the Atlanta Braves at Citizens Bank Park before heading into the All-Star Break.

"It's a possibility," Amaro said today on Daily News Live. "I don't know that it's going to happen, but it's
certainly a possibility."

The Big Piece potentially back in the lineup. That should brighten a few days. Beat writer David Murphy believes a Friday night date with Tim Hudson could be just what the Piece ordered in a return. But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, there's tonight's dueling aces.

Two of the best pitchers in the National League this season will face off in the series rubber match tonight at CitiField.

Cole Hamels (10-4, 3.08) will face knuckler R.A. Dickey (12-1, 2.15) in the first matchup of two pitchers with double digit wins this season.

Dickey has been baffling opposing hitters with his junk for the better part of two months. From CSN:

Dickey’s numbers are simply mind-boggling. He’s allowed no earned runs
in six of his last seven starts. He’s pitched two one-hitters and has
five double-digit strikeout games. He’s registered a quality start 21 of
his last 24 times out.

Yikes. Picture Shane and Hunter swinging at some of that junk.

Chase Utley gets his scheduled off day this evening with Mike Fontenot manning second base. Manuel mentioned that Utley could potentially play three in a row at CBP this weekend given that they have the break right after the Braves series.

7:10 start time. Gotta win some series here if you want us to take you seriously the rest of the summer, Phillies. Still 12 games back of the Nats in the East.

Tonight's lineup: WIth only RHP left, could Ryan Howard start every game?

Tonight's lineup: WIth only RHP left, could Ryan Howard start every game?

If healthy, Ryan Howard is expected to start all three games in the Phillies' final series of the season Sept. 2-4 at home against the Mets.

He might also start the entire Braves series.

The Phillies' final six games are all against right-handed starting pitchers: Julio Teheran, Mike Foltynewicz and Josh Collmenter in Atlanta; Robert Gsellman, Bartolo Colon and Noah Syndergaard with the Mets. That could mean six starts for Howard before his time with the Phillies expires.

Howard's batting average has been below .200 for practically the entire season, but he's been much better since the All-Star break, hitting .259/.325/.598 with 11 homers, five doubles and 25 RBIs in 123 plate appearances (see game notes). He went 0 for 6 in his last two starts but homered in each of his two previous starts to reach 23 for the third year in a row.

Here's the Phillies' full lineup Tuesday against Teheran:

1. Cesar Hernandez, 2B
2. Roman Quinn, LF
3. Odubel Herrera, CF
4. Maikel Franco, 3B
5. Ryan Howard, 1B
6. Cameron Rupp, C
7. Freddy Galvis, SS
8. Aaron Altherr, RF
9. Jerad Eickhoff, P

Matt Kemp is out of the Braves' lineup.

1. Ender Inciarte, CF
2. Adonis Garcia, 3B
3. Freddie Freeman, 1B
4. Nick Markakis, RF
5. Tyler Flowers, C
6. Jace Peterson, 2B
7. Dansby Swanson, SS
8. Mallex Smith, LF
9. Julio Teheran, P

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Howie Roseman makes complete 180 with latest roster move

Howie Roseman makes complete 180 with latest roster move

Howie Roseman solidified his hold on Executive of the Year Tuesday when he re-signed guard Darrell Greene to the practice squad and released JaCorey Shepherd from the practice squad. Shepherd was signed on Wednesday when Greene was previously released.

The Eagles were undefeated with Shepherd on the practice squad this year.

But they're also undefeated with Greene on the practice squad.

Roseman did not return messages requesting comment about Shepherd's seven-day stint with the Eagles.

Once Roseman realized he had actually NOT signed Lito Sheppard, the deal was voided.

The Eagles don't play this coming weekend so we were hard-pressed for any actual news.