Jon Lieber and the Phillies reach for .500 when they meet Rich Hill and the Cubs tonight at Wrigley Field.
Growing up, it felt like every other Phillies game was played in front of outfield ivy. Man, times have changed since realignment. This will be the first Wrigley telecast I’ve seen in over a year.
Wrigley field is of course the site where Jon Lieber (5-9, 5.10 ERA), who pitched for the Cubs from 1999-2002, posted his 20-win season, and the pitcher we’ve seen lately looks a lot like that guy. Lieber is 1-1 with a 1.13 ERA in his last three starts.
The red-hot Phillies offense will try to stay hot against left-hander Rich Hill (6-8, 6.90 ERA), who has a terrible strikeout/walk ratio of 32/26. The Phillies bats are averaging over 7 runs a game since July 28 and have taken over the league lead in runs scored.
Fresh fodder from the press notes
- The Phillies had seven sac hits in yesterday’s game, including three sac flies, which tied a club record.
- Collectively, the Phils have been plunked by pitches 68 times this season, the most in baseball and on pace to break the franchise record set in 1900.
- Jimmy Rollins needs two more home runs and the Phillies will have their first 20-homer double play combo ever in Rollins and Chase Utley. Utley has 21.
- Pitcher Scott Mathieson was optioned back to Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre to make room for new starter Jamie Moyer. Mathieson should become a valuable asset in the Red Baron’s pursuit of the International League championship.
For those who missed it, I posted a late essay this afternoon on the career of Mike Lieberthal. You can find it directly below.