Jun 27, 2012, 1:54 PM EST
If you still have one of those Rauuuuul T-shirts, tonight’s the night to wear it.
At 34 years old, Raul Valdes (2-0, 1.84) will make his second career start in the Majors on Wednesday, and first since 2010. Valdes, who has been bouncing around professional baseball for nearly a decade, gets the call on a staff that includes Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, and Cole Hamels.
Due to the rain-out on Friday and subsequent double header on Sunday, all five members of the rotation as it’s currently made up were used over four days. That means since it’s Kyle Kendrick’s turn, he would have to pitch on short rest if he were to go as planned tonight.
The Phillies will avoid that by throwing their bullpen instead. Valdes will work a maximum of three innings to lead off, likely followed by Joe Savery for up to three more, and so on, all of which pretty much gurantees Chad Qualls will eventually pitch. We know you are excited about that.
What could possibly go wrong?
Here’s the good news: this unconventional setup will play out against the Pirates. No offense in MLB has been less productive than Pittsburgh’s, which averages 3.5 runs per game. If there was ever a time for the bullpen to carry the Phillies, this is their moment, there’s no doubt about that.
Who knows, a strong effort here may even be the catalyst for a turnaround for a few of these guys.
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