Left-hander Fabio Castro makes his first Major League start this afternoon as the Phillies try to salvage a series win from the wreckage against Chad Billingsley and the Dodgers. Game time is 1:05 p.m.
Preview: Expectations are so low that a victory today would qualify as the upset of the season. The last time we saw Castro, he couldn’t find the strike zone pitching as a left-handed reliever. The Phillies like his arm, but most readers are expecting the 22-year-old to be in over his head and to be chased early. Surprise us, Fabio. In the wacky world of baseball, anything can happen. Unfamiliarity is on your side, and let's hope the bats are there for you, too. Most of the lineup is struggling, but none greater than cleanup hitter Ryan Howard. For the Dodgers, right-hander Chad Billingsley (7-4, 3.63 ERA) brings a five-start winless streak into the game. The Phillies rattled him up the last time the teams met.
On the transaction front, reliever Geoff Geary has been summoned from Triple-A Ottawa and Chris Roberson has been demoted. With Shane Victorino’s return, Roberson was redundant, but the Phils are obviously preparing for the worst with Castro by adding another mop-up guy, which is all Geary is.
Lineups are in: Greg Dobbs starts at third, with Jayson Werth starting in right. Last night may have been too much, too soon for Victorino. Carlos Ruiz will catch Castro. [Live Boxscore]