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Cliff Lee Kicks Off ‘Squeeze Week’ in St. Louis No Polly Tonight

May 16, 2011, 3:39 PM EDT

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The Phillies are coming off of two straight frustrating losses, including yesterday’s complete game effort by Roy Halladay which didn’t get the job done. It wasn’t necessarily Roy’s fault, obviously, as the offense once again failed to do much of anything. But Halladay was uncharacteristically walk-y, and did hand over a late lead.

No matter now as the Phils have a quick turnaround in St. Louis during “squeeze week” as Wheels told us about yesterday. “Squeeze week” was a term Wheels said former Phils broadcaster Andy Musser used to call a pair of two game series — something about squeezing them in. We enjoyed learning the new Wheels-ism.

The Phils will face some real tough pitching over the next week or so against STL, COL, and TEX, but the good news is they start out with a favorable matchup this evening with Cliff Lee (2-3, 3.78) taking on Jake Westbrook (2-3, 6.92).

R.I.(S).P.

While Halladay wasn’t his best yesterday, the offense was far worse, failing to convert on a handful of opportunities.

Whoever puts the Phillies game notes together at least has a nice sense of humor:

R.I.(S).P.: The Phillies have just 6 hits in their last 34 at-bats (.176 AVG) with runners in scoring position, dropping their season average from .274 to .267 …

No Polly

As if those RISP numbers didn’t have you down, get a load of this lineup. Placido Polanco is not in this evening’s starting lineup. He says it’s just a day of rest. Instead, Wilson Valdez will work the hot corner. Jimmy, Valdez, Ibanez, Howard, Mayberry (CF), Benny, Orr, Chooch, and Lee.

First pitch scheduled for 7:05 from Busch Stadium. We don’t even need “everybody” to hits, just one or two guys in a key situation, na’mean? It’d be nice. Plus, you owe Cliff some support.

UPDATE: Vance Worley has been optioned to make room for Roy Oswalt.