Thank the baseball gods for the Miami Marlins. If it weren't for them, the Phillies would be sitting at the bottom of the NL East. The Fightins will have a chance to make up some divisional ground this evening in South Philadelphia when the New York Mets come to town for the first time this season. Roy Halladay will attempt to prove to the world that his spring and first start of the season were both flukes and that he's still got the stuff to be a dominant pitcher.
The most interesting note from today's pregame is that Halladay will have a new battery mate. Humberto Quintero gets the nod behind the plate and will bat eighth.
You may recall Halladay mentioned not being on the same page with Erik Kratz after his ugly outing in Atlanta.
From Jim Salisbury's recap of Doc's first loss:
The Upton home run came on a 1-2 pitch that he was “not fully committed
to.” Catcher Erik Kratz set up down and in on Upton. In retrospect,
Halladay said he should have come up and in on Upton to set him up for
something away. Kratz is filling in for starting catcher Carlos Ruiz, a
Halladay favorite. Ruiz is serving a 25-game suspension for testing
positive for a PED.
Kratz told reporters today that Halladay never spoke to him about his work behind the plate since their last outing together. Charlie Manuel told reporters that Doc did not ask to have Quintero behind the dish this evening.
How prophetic those video game commercials were, eh?
If there's a team Halladay can be glad to see in town tonight while trying to turn it around, it's the Mets. From Beerleauger:
Coming off a poor performance in his first start, Roy Halladay
faces the best possible situation he could be placed in -- he faces the
Mets, a team he's 7-0 against with a 1.78 ERA as a Phillie.
David Wright, Ike Davis, Lucas Duda and Ruben Tejada are a combined
9-for-63 off Halladay with 21 strikeouts. The Mets have struck out 53
times against Halladay with just six walks.
Charlie's going with Laynce Nix in right tonight: 1. Revere, 2. Rollins, 3. Utley, 4. Howard, 5. Young, 6. Brown, 7. Nix, 8. Quintero, 9. Halladay.
7:05 start time. Get down there with a cheap ticket and get your free t-shirt.
Updated - 5:55 p.m.
PITTSBURGH -- Phillies catcher Cameron Rupp left the game in the third inning after being struck on the left ear flap of his batting helmet by a pitch from Pirates rookie right-hander Tyler Glasnow.
Rupp walked off the field under his own power and backup catcher Carlos Ruiz pinch ran for him and stayed in the game to catch starter Aaron Nola.
The Phillies later announced Rupp was removed from the game as a precaution and that he showed no symptoms of a concussion.
Less than 24 hours before, Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco was hit in the wrist by a pitch thrown by Pirates starter Gerrit Cole in Friday's 4-0 victory at PNC Park. Franco left the game and did not start on Saturday afternoon. He's listed as day to day (see story).
In the first inning on Saturday, Rupp hit into an inning-ending ground out. He is hitting .276 with 10 home runs in 63 games.
PITTSBURGH -- Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco, who was hit on the left wrist by a pitch on Friday night, is not in the starting lineup for Saturday’s game against the Pittsburgh Pirates (see lineup).
Franco was hit by a pitch from the Pirates’ Gerrit Cole in the first inning of the Phillies’ 4-0 victory then was removed after hitting a single in the third inning (see story).
“He’s still sore,” Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said Saturday. “He’s day to day. Maybe he will be back in the lineup (Sunday).
Franco suffered a fracture of the same wrist last August when he was hit by a pitch.
Andres Blanco is taking Franco’s place in the lineup after having two hits Friday night when he replaced the third baseman. Blanco is hitting .264 with three home runs in 73 games this season and is reportedly drawing some interest from contending teams looking to add bench help.
“I could see why he would be a desirable player,” Mackanin said. “We’re not going to give him away, though, if we do trade him. He’s played very well for us.”
It looks like the Flyers and Brayden Schenn are heading towards arbitration.
A source tells CSNPhilly.com Flyers Insider Tim Panaccio that the Flyers and Schenn's camp are at odds over the salary of Schenn's next contract.
Schenn turned down a two-year deal worth $4.25 million in the first year and $4.369 million in the second, according to the source, noting that Schenn is looking for a deal that would pay him $5.5 million this upcoming season.
Schenn is coming off a career year, setting career highs in goals (26) and points (59), and is now looking to cash in on his best season. Last season, Schenn earned $2.75 million.
General manager Ron Hextall has repeatedly said he believes a deal will get done, but at the moment nothing looks imminent.
Schenn's arbitration hearing is scheduled for Monday.