After yesterday’s rainout, new acquisition Jeff Conine and the Phillies finish off their series with the Mets today at 12:10.
These holdovers are torture for teams on the road. The Phillies would have been off today before beginning a series with the Nationals tomorrow. Instead, they’re being held hostage in New York after yesterday’s washout.
If the Phils can persevere and take the final game this afternoon, then can wake up tomorrow morning with the possibility of a share of the Wild Card lead. The front-running Reds are at Los Angeles tonight and are clinging to a one-game lead after yesterday’s loss. Meanwhile, San Diego, a half-game up on the Phils, are at Arizona.
After a successful debut, the Phillies hand the ball to Jamie Moyer (1-0, 4.50 ERA), making his second start for the Phillies. Moyer allowed three runs in six innings of a 6-3 win over the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday, becoming the oldest Phillies pitcher ever to earn a win. He faces 25-year-old right-hander John Maine (3-3, 3.58 ERA), looking to bounce back from a career-high seven earned runs in five innings against the Cardinals.
Sandoval optioned to Double-A Reading
Today’s game will also feature the Phillies debut of Jeff Conine, who was acquired along with cash Sunday from Baltimore for a player to be named. To clear room, the Phillies optioned utility infielder Danny Sandoval to Double-A Reading. The move is probably just temporary for Sandoval until the Phillies settle on the player to be named later, rumored to be either LHP Eude Brito, RHP Brian Sanches or INF Angel Chavez, all with Triple-A Scranton. Sandoval could also return when rosters expand on Friday.
Conine became the second right-handed bat acquired by the Phils after the trade deadline, joining infielder Jose Hernandez, who was added last week. Hernandez will likely take over the primary utility role vacated by Sandoval, with second baseman Joe Thurston providing a secondary support as a left-handed bat.
Beerleaguer’s reaction to Conine was lukewarm at first, but now it's clear this was a deal the Phillies had to make. Anything to help the bench, without getting crazy, is the right call at this point, as the Phils find themselves just one-game out, perhaps with a better chance at slipping in than any contender. After today, they face sub-.500 teams the rest of the way.
The post-season is there for the taking. With the addition of Conine, the bench meets the grade.