The Phillies hope to continue leaving the first half in the dust tonight at Citizen’s Bank Park when they play game two of their series with the Padres.
Following a players' only meeting held by Jimmy Rollins before yesterday’s game, Ryan Howard told the Associated Press “Right now, we have a whole new outlook on everything. Everything in the first half is behind us."
Howard had two more RBIs in yesterday’s win, and also scored the winning run on Aaron Rowand’s base hit. Rollins, who called the players’ meeting, went hitless after returning from a very solid personal road trip. J-Roll’s walk totals are on the rise, as is his on-base percentage.
"The bottom line was, I asked each guy to say to himself, 'What can I do this at-bat, this ground ball, this pitch, to help my team win?' " Rollins told the Daily News.
The 27-year-old three-time all-star was not in the running for an all-star bid, but this season has proven to be similar for the franchise shortstop, if not better, than previous all-star seasons. He's on pace to hit 20 homers, and his defense appears to be sharper than ever. Rollins has faced criticism for his approach as a lead-off hitter.
Scott Mathieson (0-2, 6.75 ERA) gets the ball for the Phillies. Win or loss, Mathieson’s tenure with the club will likely end soon after tonight’s start, as Jon Lieber, and yes, Brett Myers are scheduled to return soon.
The Phillies will face right-hander Jake Peavy (4-8, 4.50 ERA), who many thought was the best pitcher in the National League before this season. Peavy has battled tendinitus in his shoulder for much of the season.