Key word: maintain. Let's take a brief stroll down memory lane.
Over the weekend, the Phils took game one from the Rays, then proceeded to drop both halves of a double header, the first of which they held the lead into the eighth inning. In the series prior, the bats went unexplainably cold while going for a sweep of the dreadful Rockies, who had won one time in their previous 13 games.
A week and a half before that, the Phillies took the first in their series at Baltimore, only to falter in extra innings the next two days. And the weekend before that even, they handed a home series to Miami after successfully grinding out number one.
In between it all, they were also swept twice, so forgive me if I'm not yet buying the Pirates will cure what ails the local baseball club. Prove me wrong, Phillies.
As mentioned earlier, Vance Worley (3-4, 2.78) takes the ball for the home team tonight. He's below .500 with the lowest ERA in the rotation, so he's obviously fallen victim to a lack of run support this year. He opened his season in Pittsburgh, holding the Bucs to one run in six innings. Worley would leave the game with the lead, but the bullpen buckled, and the Phils lost in walk-off fashion.
If Worley can go deep into tonight's ball game, it increases the odds Charlie Manuel and Rich Dubee will hand tomorrow's game to the bullpen -- more on that here.
The Pirates turn to Opening Day starter Erik Bedard (4-7, 4.12), who battled Roy Halladay to a 1-0 loss on April 5. It's been an up-and-down season for the veteran lefty, who is capable of quieting bats one night, only to get shelled the next. He's always been stingy with the Phils though in four lifetime starts (2-1, 1.61).
Carlos Ruiz had the game-winning RBI off of Bedard on Opening Day, as he and John Mayberry each had two hits in the game, Mayberry's the only for extra bases.
lineup Hudson (8), Frandsen (5), Utley (4), Pride (DH), Overbeck (3),
Orr (7), Suomi (2), Susdorf(9), Blanco (6) Wright
— Leslie Gudel (@lesliegudel) June 26,