Adam Eaton and Orlando Hernandez meet in a battle of right-handers tonight when the Phillies and Mets resume their series at Shea Stadium.
My apologies for delayed posting on a hectic day in the office. Tomorrow will be more of the same, so I’m turning the board over to you in an open draft day thread, to be posted in the morning. Phillies pick 19th and have 5 of the first 113. Keep Beerleaguer updated. I'll be on location in downtown Reading to broadcast tomorrow's Reading Classic pro bike race. Listen live on 830-AM WEEU for my reports from Duryea Drive and around the race course.
The Phils weren’t far from my mind today in spite of deadlines and meetings. Angelo and WIP's Morning Team dedicated a segment to the plight of Chris Coste during my commute. Brian Startare interviewed the displaced catcher last night in Double-A Reading and had good words for the R-Phils PR staff, Rob Hackash especially.
There can be no better reason why Coste is languishing in the minor leagues other than the Phillies are complete jerks. He continues to hit, he hit during his call-up, he hit last season, he hits everywhere, and they need his bat. What the hell do they need Clay Condrey for? Coste is arguably more qualified than three others to be part of a five-man bench. They should be carrying six anyway. They're coming up short off the bench every night. Sometimes it’s like the Phillies enjoy being the villains. They don’t make it hard for us to be critical.
On a related note, catcher Carlos Ruiz is struggling and had a terrible at bat last night with the bases loaded, mushing the ball into the ground for a rally-killing double play. It could have been the difference in the game. His OPS is something like .702 now, and he’s had one extra base hit since his walk-off home run. My money is on Rod Barajas to get the start tonight. (Update: Barajas is in).
On a completely separate note, Chase Utley is incredible.
Lastly, Malcolm posted some eye-opening home/away splits on Ryan Madson in the thread below. I can visually tell a difference in the way he pitches away from the Bank: less nibbling, more challenging. There are certain situations where I have confidence in Madson. Remember when he carried that extra-inning shutout for awhile in relief last year in Shea? He excels in situations like those. Very strange.
Game preview: Adam Eaton (5-4, 6.28) vs. Orlando Hernandez (3-1, 2.20) Eaton pitched in New York earlier in the season when it was about 40 degrees. He’s trying to bounce back from his shortest start of the season, getting chased after two innings thanks to a Fred Lewis grand slam. He hasn’t been consistent and I can’t get a handle on him. It’s in everyone’s best interest – the Phillies and yours – to see this guy get it together. They’re stuck with him.
In seven starts, El Duque has been excellent, holding opponents to a .175 average to go with a 0.89 WHIP. Left-handers have still been hitting him however, that’s why Charlie Manuel is stacking Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Greg Dobbs together in the middle of the lineup. Dobbs gets the start in left field.