Brian Schneider subs for Chooch, but the rest of the lineup remains intact tonight when Kyle Kendrick (8-7, 4.64) and the Phillies face former farmhand Carlos Monasterios (3-4, 3.54) and the Dodgers.
Beerleaguer: I'm disappointed that Domonic Brown can't get on the field even against an unproven right-hander like Monasterios. Between Raul Ibanez, who's hitless in his last three games, and Shane Victorino's .667 OPS against right-handed pitching, there's room. Brown gave the offense a boost when he was in the starting lineup, and if the offense ever needed a spark, now's the time. Nevertheless, the lack of production takes root in the heart of the lineup where Chase Utley and Ryan Howard have seen their OPS totals fall .100 points from last year's final tally (Utley .801 currently, Howard .831). That's weak no matter how you spin it for a set of 3-4 hitters. To think: Utley's OPS could sink below .800 after tonight, the last day of August.
Hoover returns: Paul Hoover has won the bid to become the Phillies' third catcher in September. The Triple-A veteran will likely join the Phillies tomorrow as the first official September call-up. According to Morning Call beat writer Jeff Schuler, he's swinging a hot bat lately, hitting .385 in his
last 12 games.