Jon Lieber and Dontrelle Willis meet in the rubber match of a three-game set. Meanwhile, the Phillies, waiting on the results of Brett Myers’ MRI, have reportedly prepared Double-A left-hander Mike Zagurski should Myers require time on the DL. [Link]
Preview: Myers underwent an MRI in Clearwater today, believed to be at 3:30 p.m. According to the Inquirer, Myers does not believe the injury is serious enough to miss time on the DL, but should it happen, Zagurski will get a call to fill his roster spot. No matter what, tomorrow could see more than one roster move with Ryan Howard expected back for the Atlanta series, and even if Myers gets a green light, the loogy-starved Phils could purchase Zagurski's contract sooner rather than later.
Not to look ahead, but tonight’s finale is no cake walk. Dontrelle Willis (6-3, 4.86 ERA) can be dominant and has embarrassed Phillies hitters more than once in his brilliant young career. The Phils will counter D-Train with a lineup stacked with right-handed thump, including Jayson Werth in right, Rod Barajas behind the plate, Wes Helms at third and Chris Coste making his first start and playing first. Chase Utley gets his first night off this season, replaced by Abraham Nunez at second.
Coste and company will back up Jon Lieber (2-2, 3.00 ERA), who’s been as solid as any Phillies' pitcher this season. Lieber has given up three runs or less in five of his six starts, but has only been so-so against the Marlins; lifetime he's 9-8 with a 4.97 ERA in 22 starts.
I like the lineup, and actually like the move to get Barajas back behind the plate after last night's debacle. The Phillies must get to Willis early, pile on some runs and not put this in the hands of their bullpen. Lieber must be an ace tonight.