have gone 22 innings without scoring against an opposing starter and
have been blanked in 28 of 29 innings. They'll try to reignite their
thundersticks in Game 2 tonight from Citi Field.
Phillies swap out the 6-7-8 hitters tonight, but they're not the only
ones who've struggled over the last seven days. Shane Victorino is
hitting .105/.227/.158. Ryan Howard is producing at a .188/.316/.375
clip. Placido Polanco is hitting just .200/.294/.333. They've also run
into some problems on the mound, posting a 6.58 ERA over the same
stretch. For the Phillies, Joe Blanton (1-2, 5.06) looks to build on a
solid, seven-inning start in his previous outing. He'll face lefty
Hisanori Takahashi, who shut out the Yankees over six innings in his
first start since moving from the bullpen to the rotation. The Phillies
(26-18) maintain a three-game lead over the Marlins in the bunched-up
National League East. Only four games separate the Phils from the
last-place Nats and Mets.
Notes: Before the game, it was revealed that Carlos Ruiz has been playing through a sore shoulder since late April, reportedly making it difficult to throw. ... It would be impossible for close Scott Mathieson to pitch any better than he has for Triple-A Lehigh Valley. According to Morning Call beat writer Jeff Schuler, Mathieson "made his eighth save look easy Tuesday night, getting the final three outs on just nine pitches. That's after throwing 28 pitches the night before in a two-inning save." The 26-year-old right-hander is 2-0 with a 0.76 ERA, 5 saves and a 26/6 K/BB ratio in 23 2-3 innings. ... Yesterday in Reading, right-hander Drew Naylor tossed a three-hit, complete-game shutout over Portland. He's 3-1 with a 2.64 ERA this month. Both Mathieson and Naylor are included on the Phillies' 40-man roster... Finally, Beerleaguer's senior correspondent scouted Lakewood this weekend and offered his take over e-mail on former first-rounder Anthony Hewitt: "Horrible, horrible."