Ryan Howard and the Phillies square off against Albert Pujols and the Cardinals tonight in the opener of a two-game set.
Howard has terrific career numbers in his home town, having batted .388/.520/.738 in 21 games at Busch Stadium. Those figures include eight homers and 31 RBIs in just 80 at-bats. Tonight, Howard will face Jake Westbrook (2-3, 6.92), against whom he only has two career at-bats - a single and a double play.
On the other side, Cliff Lee goes for the Phils against a Cards team against which he is 2-0 with a 1.20 ERA in two career starts. One of those outings - a three-hit shutout - came in 2009, shortly before Lee was dealt to the Phillies. In his career, Pujols is 1-for-5 with a pair of walks against Lee.
Hot corner happenings: Of particular note tonight is that Pujols will be playing third base for the first time since September 2002, as Tony La Russa inserts Lance Berkman at first base to improve the team's defense. ... As JW mentioned in an earlier post, Phils third baseman Placido Polanco has the night off.
First pitch is at 7 p.m.