The good news following last night's tough late loss to the Reds is that the Phils will attempt to bounce back tonight with Roy Halladay on the mound. Even better news is that Halladay (6-3, 2.21) has great career numbers against the Reds, 2-1 with a 2.21 ERA in five stars including the postseason. He's also thrown 18.0-consecutive scoreless innings against them dating back to July 10th of 2010. There was a memorable post-season game mixed in there you may recall.
The Reds will counter with left-hander Travis Wood (3-3, 5.17) who has six quality starts in 10 games, but has received the least run support of any Reds starter. The lack of support should hopefully continue tonight with Roy on the mound.
As mentioned earlier, Chase Utley is not in the lineup this evening. Instead, Wilson Valdez will play second base and bat eighth with Ben Francisco batting in the two-hole and manning right field.
From the Notes: With a win tonight, the Phillies would reach 30 wins in fewer than 50 games played for just the 5th time over the last 50 years … The four previous times that the Phils achieved that were in 2001, 1995, 1993, and 1976 … In 2009, the Phillies won their 30th game in game No. 50. Tonight is the Phils 49th game of the 2011 season.
Many wondered why Ross Gload was not used as a pinch-hitter last night in the Phils loss. Turns out Gload is battling some hip problems, a labial tear to be exact, similar to what Chase Utley battled through in 2008. Ruben Amaro Jr. on its severity: "It's not necessarily minor. He's got a labral issue. But we're going to try to manage through it." He later added that a trip to the DL wouldn't really solve anything.
First pitch scheduled for 7:05. It's a warm one at the bank, could be some nice hitting (or tank top) weather. I'm down at the game if anyone would like to chat along in the comments.