May 8, 2013, 3:34 PM EST
It might seem like an inopportune time for Charlie Manuel to give Ryan Howard and Domonic Brown the day off. Between the two of them, they’ve swatted six home runs in the month of May already. With that in mind – not to mention the Phillies are going for a sweep of the reigning World Series Champions this afternoon – you might think their names would be on the lineup card.
With Barry Zito taking the hill for the Giants though, Manuel opted to stash Howard and Brown in the cupboard instead. The 34 year old and his notorious curveball are tough on lefties, to which The Big Piece can attest. Howard has stood in the box 11 times against Zito, going 1 for 10 with five strikeouts. Brown has never faced Zito, and clearly today is not the day for that experiment.
It’s not an unusual strategy. Zito has pitched to nearly four times as many right-handed batters than left over his 14-year career. From the Phillies’ vantage point, Brown hasn’t exactly raked against left-handed pitching this season (his OBP is 50 points lower), and surprise, Howard is really struggling versus southpaws with a .194 average.
So if the Phils are going to get it done today, it will be with something of an unusual configuration. The only lefties in the order are Chase Utley batting cleanup – 7 for 17 with four extra base hits and 3 runs batted in lifetime against Zito – and Ben Revere, who no doubt is mostly in there for his defense.
Meanwhile, this will be yet another big test for young Jonathan Pettibone making his fourth big-league start. San Francisco’s lineup is tough, and the pressure is really on the rookie with the news Roy Halladay will be out of action for several months at least. Pettibone has done well thus far, producing a 2-0 record with a 3.24 ERA, but we’re all sort of waiting for that first trip where the kid gets roughed up.
Not today, we hope. The Phillies have been enjoying a nice series in the bay area, and taking three in a row off of the Giants would be a huge step for the club as they try to climb back to the elusive .500 mark.
— MLBLineups (@mlblineups) May 8, 2013
|Matt S. on Eagles officially the hottest…|
|SadKumquat on Peter King: Eagles ‘the disapp…|
|JMRA on Snowballs fly in Washington, B…|
|AJockStrapFeely on Snowballs fly in Washington, B…|
- FBI’s search for ‘Mo,’ suspect in bomb threats, highlights use of malware for surveillance - The Washington Post
- Slow motion video of a base jump going horribly wrong
- This Florida State Ball Boy Is A College Football Hero (this is amazing)
- How A Reporter Eavesdropped On Barry Bonds's Grand Jury Testimony
- Happy Black Friday: Evan Turner will pay you $500 for a $229 TV
- Shawn Andrews accuses Donovan McNabb of mistreatment, says he requested a trade
- Apparently, Darren Daulton had to stop Mitch Williams from 'attacking' Lenny Dykstra on Saturday
- Tony Wroten made a YouTube movie about the Sixers' young rap group
- This outlandish Penn State-themed Christmas light display is going to cost a lot of money
- Eagles #FlyEaglesFly team release another awesome video featuring DeSean's miracle return
- Video: Hunter Pence's youth baseball instructional video is everything you imagined and more
- Your newest Sixer, Rodney Williams, once threw down pretty hard at the Gola
- Video: Drexel frat dude says f*** 23 times in intramural pregame speech for the ages