Monday night's win was the Phillies 47th game played this season, but it was the first for a certain second baseman who was asked after the game if it felt like an opening day. "For me, it was, without a doubt," Utley said.
So now that Utley's got the faux-opening day jitters out of the way, he should be back in action tonight as Vance Worley (2-0, 1.13) is set to take on Johnny Cueto (1-2, 1.45). Manuel said after last night's victory that he plans to stick with the lineup that blew up for 10 runs, which means the plan calls for Utley at second for the second consecutive evening.
With my 17-game partial season ticket plan falling on Roy Oswalt bobblehead night this evening, I'm hoping the Phils put up an effort much more similar to last night than the showing I saw last Thursday when I sat in the stands through one of the honest-to-goodness worst games I've ever been to. Not only was it pouring rain for most of the night, but Joe Blanton was scratched for Kyle Kendrick, who was shelled, and the Phils managed to notch only one lousy run on six hits. At no point in that one did we ever get a glimpse of hope of a comeback.
But that was the Chase Utley-less Phillies. He's back, and Vance Worley will take the hill, a guy Charlie Manuel really likes.
"I like everything about him," Charlie said yesterday. "Why shouldn’t I like him? He’s been good every time out."
As for the Reds' starter, Cueto hasn't pitched a ton this season, and has fared well in his few outings. But you may remember him from such classics as July 6, 2009, in which he was shelled at Citizens Bank Park to the tune of 9 earned runs in .2 innings of working, giving up 2 HRs along the way. I was also at that 22 run Phillies classic, so perhaps a bit of that karma will follow us to the park tonight.
First pitch scheduled for 7:05. We'll update this post with any lineup changes. You never know, the looming weather could sway Charlie's mind when filling out the card.