Cory Lidle punches the clock for the fourth time this season as the Phillies (7-10) get set to open a long series with Colorado (10-8).
Lidle (1-2, 5.00 ERA), has been fairly true to form in 2006, allowing lots of hits and surrendering either 3-or-4 runs a game. He’s gone an inning deeper in consecutive starts, and will probably lead the team in strikeouts after tonight (currently second with 17). He’s actually walked only one batter this season. In other words, he’s been steady. When Lidle is on the mound, you can spot the opposition 3-or-4 runs and watch something else until the seventh inning, or wash dishes, which is what I often do.
Josh Fogg (2-0, 3.57 ERA) isn’t must-see TV either, but is off to a nice start since coming over from Pittsburgh.
The big story, pitching-wise, has been an overachieving Rockies bullpen, which leads baseball in winning percentage (.833). Jose Mesa has been tough on his old team, going 2-0 with 3 saves and a 0.84 ERA in 10 games. He pitched two shutout innings against them in their series at Coors Field.
The Rockies will be without Todd Helton, who was just released from the hospital today after suffering severe stomach problems. Third baseman Garrett Atkins has also missed the last two games with flu-like symptoms and will likely return to the lineup tonight.
A couple cold Phillies will try to warm up this series, including Chase Utley, Pat Burrell and Jimmy Rollins, who started to get back on track yesterday with a hit, a walk and two stolen bases.