A strong showing tonight should answer any doubts whether Gavin Floyd can hang with the big boys.
Believe it or not, Floyd (4-2, 5.30 ERA) is seeking his fourth-straight win. He is 3-0 with a 2.04 ERA over his last three outings after pitching that rain-shortened shutout against the Mets last week.
Floyd's biggest issue is he has allowed too many walks, 21, to just 21 strikeouts. Against the young, agressive Brewers, it shouldn't hurt him quite as much.
I like the Phillies to win this game, and for Floyd to have another solid start. One could make a strong case that Floyd, from his surprise addition to the starting rotation to his decent showing thus far, represents the nicest surprise of the young season.
Behind him, his teammates haven't been getting on base. Comments thread rumblings from yesterday's post have been calling for a new leadoff hitter, someone that will get on base with better frequency than Jimmy Rollins. J-Roll has the lowest on-base percentage (.306) among the seven Phillies regulars. That's only four points higher than Sal Fasano. Yuck.
The reality is, the Phillies offense hasn't produced. They're 11th in the league in runs (180), and 10th in on-base percentage (.336), after leading the league in on-base percentage a year ago.
The bats will face somewhat of a change this game, as Milwaukee sends a long-lost right-hander to the mound in Dave Bush (4-3, 4.17 ERA). This will be the first time I've seen Bush pitch. The 28-year-old former Jay has an excellent strikeout-to-walk ratio of 44-9.
Update: Jimmy Rollins remains in the leadoff spot tonight, but there are several changes. Pat Burrell gets the night off, as hinted in Marcus Hayes' story this morning in the Daily News. David Dellucci will start instead. David Bell also gets a breather. Abraham Nunez starts at third. That means Ryan Howard will bat cleanup. Shane Victorino slides into the No. 5 spot.
Live box score here.