Living large after a 4-2 victory to extend their lead to eight, the Phillies turn to newly minted ace Cliff Lee, who brings a 5-0 mark and near-spotless 0.68 ERA into tonight's game with the Atlanta Braves. First pitch is 7:05.
Rehab notes: As Lee and the Phils get set for Derek Lowe and the
Braves, Brett Myers will be on the mound in Reading where he is
scheduled to make 45-50 pitches in the first game of a twin bill
beginning at 6:30. It's Myers' fourth rehab appearance since undergoing June 4 hip surgery, and if
everything goes smoothly, the righthander could rejoin the Phillies
sometime next week. Myers doesn't need to be activated before Monday's
deadline for adding players eligible for the postseason because of his
status on the disabled list. That also holds true for Antonio Bastardo
and Clay Condrey; both will reportedly pitch rehab assignments Monday.
Bastardo is on the 60-day disabled list, so room would need to be
cleared on the 40-man roster. The live-armed lefthander could be eyed
as a second lefty for the pen as news of J.C. Romero's progress is not
encouraging. The injured reliever, who has been out since July 20, was
in Philadelphia yesterday and told the Daily News' Paul Hagan that he
is experiencing lingering tenderness in his forearm and elbow and
doesn't know when he'll return.
Chemistry: I mentioned confidence in the previous thread and wanted to discuss another Beerleaguer unmentionable: chemistry. There's no question the Phils jell as well as any team in the league. They rocked the boat with the high-profile acquisitions of Lee and three-time Cy Young winner Pedro Martinez earlier this summer. By all accounts, its been a comfortable fit. But when it comes to September call-ups, I'll less inclined to believe they'll welcome just any wide-eyed kid. Expect a few familiar faces from Triple-A, like John Mayberry, Kyle Kendrick and Steven Register, players already on the 40-man roster. Maybe they would make room for someone like veteran Andy Tracy, who was on the bench in 2008 before breaking his hand and has had a good season for Lehigh Valley. In the unlikely scenario they call-up an unknown, it could be someone like Quintin Berry for his wheels (48 stolen bases at Reading). Until the Phils clinch the division, this season's call-ups will be a forgotten presence. I'm not even sure they'll carry a third catcher.
Lineups are posted: Once again, Paul Bako catches Lee. I can't remember which Web site lists CERA (catcher ERA). Bako must be first in baseball. Did I mention I have no problem whatsoever with the Phillies' catch-and-throw backstop, even if he's hitting below the Mendoza? There's no denying the starting rotation has improved with the addition of the journeyman receiver.