A week ago today the Phillies were in South Florida closing out their series with the Marlins with a disappointing 5-4 loss. Their schedule for the following week included a three-game set at home against the Wild Card leading Braves, followed by a four-game series in Milwaukee against the Central Division leading Brewers.
On paper this stretch of games appeared quite daunting. On paper. The Phils swept the Braves, and now look to do the same against the Brewers as Vance Worley faces Yovani Gallardo.
What's been stunning about this Brewers series is that the Phillies have been without Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins (who did make an appearance late in the game last night after Wilson Valdez suffered a hamstring injury). Ryan Howard did not play Thursday night and, like Rollins, only made a brief cameo last night.
They've walked into Milwaukee and taken the first three games with reserve players. Obviously, it helps that those reserve players took the field behind Cole Hamels, Roy Halladay, and Cliff Lee.
As Earl Weaver said, momentum in baseball is the next day's starting pitcher. Well, the Phillies should be in good shape as Worley has not lost in his last 14 starts.
Here's Charlie Manuel's lineup for this afternoon:
1. Shane Victorino CF
2. Placido Polanco 3B
3. Hunter Pence RF
4. Ryan Howard 1B
5. Raul Ibanez LF
6. Pete Orr 2B
7. Brian Schneider C
8. Michael Martinez SS
9. Vance Worley P
Anyone think The Vanimal will throw at Casey McGehee today? I had no problem with him crushing Chooch to score last night, but the flexing and preening afterwards was a bit much.
Game time is set for 2:10.