The Phillies are hitting just .221/.284/.329 since April 17. They try to snap out of it tonight against right-hander Todd Wellemeyer (0-3, 8.13), a pitcher they've busted up in the past.
Preview: All the talk has revolved around what Ryan Howard will do between now and the end of time, but here in the present, the $125 million slugger has been swinging a $1.25 bat. Howard hasn't homered since the fifth game of the season and has reversed the delightful little early season trend where multi-hit games outnumbered strikeouts. The good news is that Howard has destroyed Wellemeyer, going 4-for-7 with two homers, while Chase Utley is 7-for-11 with three homers and six RBIs. Howard isn't the only hitter who's struggled. After a sizzling start, Placido Polanco has scuffled ever since he was plunked on the elbow by Tim Hudson. Since then, he's 2-for-16. Jamie Moyer (2-1, 5.00), who has pitched better than his numbers suggest, takes the mound hoping to pick up the middle game. Meanwhile in Reading, Brad Lidge pitched another scoreless rehab inning and reportedly said he feels ready. It's possible the closer could be activated for their series against the Mets.