Tuesday, April 25, 2006

8-10...and Rockies @ Phillies, Game No. 18

Before we get to tonight's game, how about a quick look at last night's 6-5 win over the Colorado Rockies? Gold stars from last night's game go out to Chase Utley and Bobby Abreu (both for their standout defense), Pat Burrell (for swinging the bat as well as he has all year, he just looks better at the plate these days), and Cory Lidle (10 strikeout performance is hard to ignore). The bullpen (with the exception of closer Tom Gordon) remains a big worry as does the lackluster start of the bench - I'm not too worked up about the bench struggling because I think some of the guys are better ballplayers than they've shown...the bullpen has performed just about to expectations (which is a problem that will have to be addressed sooner rather than later).

The Phillies revamped starting lineup worked so well last night, it'll gets another chance tonight (and many future nights I'm sure). Hopefully the lineup can get off to the same quick start it did last night...Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, and Bobby Abreu were 5-5 through 3 innings. Another quick start like that is crucial to the ballclub's chances tonight with young righthander Gavin Floyd taking the ball - all pitchers are in favor of early run support, but it seems especially important to get some for the younger guys...for the mental edge if nothing else (plus you need to score to win, so why not score early?).

Tonight's starting pitcher for Colorado is Miguel Asencio. Asencio, as you'll hear about three dozen times on the broadcast tonight, was a former Phillies pitching prospect believed to have had a nice future ahead of him at one point. He was taken by the Royals in the Rule 5 in 2002 and was forced to spend the entire '02 season on the big league roster before he was ready to really contribute. He's had some injury troubles since that season of lost developmental time, but seems to have potentially found himself a good fit on a major league roster now that he is healthy and throwing again for the pitching starved Rockies. Asencio is a month and a day younger than tomorrow night's Phils starter Ryan Madson (his teammate in 2001 with Clearwater), so time is still on his side. We wish Miguel Asencio nothing but the best in his pursuit of major league success...just not tonight.

One other thing to keep an eye on...Bobby Abreu going for his 12th straight game with a walk. It's not a 38 game hitting streak (obviously...), but it's a streak nonetheless - and who doesn't love the occasional streak every now and then?

Tonight's starting lineups:

Colorado Rockies

CF Cory Sullivan
SS Clint Barmes
LF Matt Holliday
3B Garrett Atkins
RF Brad Hawpe
1B Eli Marrero
2B Jamey Carroll
C Danny Ardoin
SP Miguel Asencio

Philadelphia Phillies

SS Jimmy Rollins
2B Chase Utley
RF Bobby Abreu
LF Pat Burrell
1B Ryan Howard
CF Aaron Rowand
3B David Bell
C Sal Fasano
SP Gavin Floyd

Same lineup as last night except Fasano in to catch Floyd...how about a 7-5 Phillies win and a 2 hit night for David Bell?


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