If available, right-hander Freddy Garcia will open the final leg of a 10-game road trip tonight when the Phillies travel to Arizona to meet left-hander Doug Davis and the Diamondbacks. Game time is 9:40 p.m. ET.
Preview: Garcia (1-2, 6.05 ERA) is a game-time decision after colliding with a utility vehicle during yesterday’s batting practice. According to the press notes, the Phillies have not summoned a minor league reinforcement, so if Garcia doesn’t get the ball, someone from the bullpen will. ... Davis (2-3, 2.25 ERA) isn’t pitching quite as well as his low ERA would indicate, but he’s certainly having a nice start with his new team. This is Davis’ first start against the Phils since 2005. Lifetime, the left-hander is 1-1 with a 3.46 ERA in four career starts against them. ... In today’s Daily News, Ryan Howard confirmed that his left thigh hasn’t been 100 percent since spring training. Asked whether time on the disabled list would help, Howard said "Maybe it would." Manager Charlie Manuel told Phillies.com that Howard’s struggles can be blamed on "trying too hard," but also physical ailments, saying his injury has hindered his ability to generate power off his back leg, causing him to take awkward, unbalanced swings.
Pitchers by VORP ranking (value over replacement player, out of 432 pitchers): Jamie Moyer (24th); Cole Hamels (61st); Jon Lieber (109th) Freddy Garcia (319th); Adam Eaton (429th). Only Jae Seo, Mark Redman and Jeff Weaver are more abominable than Eaton.
Best of the press notes: The Phillies lead all Major League teams with 144 walks. Pat Burrell is tied with Todd Helton for the league lead with 30. Howard is right behind with 29.