Astros-Phillies Game Thread 5/14/12

The Phillies haven’t won back-to-back games since April 30-May 1, but they will attempt to do just that tonight against the surprisingly not-incredibly-awful Houston Astros. At 15-19, the Astros are just a half-game behind the Phillies record-wise and have had limited success behind a very productive infield. Rookie Jose Altuve has been the team’s best hitter, posting a .323 batting average and a .370 on-base percentage with five steals in six attempts. Shortstop Jed Lowrie has shown to be quite good at the plate, but has become known as injury-prone. And then there’s third baseman Chris Johnson, who had a down year in 2011 after hitting .308 in 2010. Although he is hitting for a high average, he has a strikeout-to-walk ratio in excess of six-to-one, which doesn’t forbode well.

Tonight, Lucas Harrell will oppose Joe Blanton. Harrell has over 760 innings spanning seven seasons in the Minors, but a strong finish to the 2011 season with Triple-A Oklahoma City earned him a rotation spot. He has always had some control problems and hasn’t shown much of an ability to miss bats at the Major League level. However, the Phillies were recently held to two runs by Jeff Suppan (2.3 K/9 in three starts) yesterday, so you never know. In Blanton’s last start, he regressed a bit, walking three batters in six and two-thirds innings of work against the New York Mets after walking exactly zero in his previous two starts spanning 16 and one-third innings.

Lineups

Astros

Phillies

Crashburn Alley Podcast Episode 4

Bill Baer is busy doing Bill Baer stuff, so Michael Baumann helms this week’s podcast with a performance that can only be described with words like “competent” and “well-intentioned.”

Download this episode (right click and save)

Topics:

  • Carlos Ruiz’s white-hot start to 2012
  • Last week’s roster shake-up
  • Hunter Pence in the doghouse
  • Break
  • Ruben Amaro’s opinion on relievers and strikeouts
  • Cole Hamels trade rumors
  • Trivia
  • Twitter Question: Which member of the Phillies has the best hair? (@soundofphilly)
  • Twitter Question: Who is your all-time favorite Phillie? (@kfk5025)
  • Outro

As always, any and all feedback is welcome, on iTunes, in the comments section, or on Twitter. We’d love to know what you like and don’t like so that we can improve future podcasts. Some of the audio in this one is a little shaky, but it gets better in the second segment, and we should have the protocols down for a solid audio product for next episode. Make sure you’re following us on Twitter if you want to send in a Twitter question for the next episode:

Thanks to Local Wizards for allowing us to use his music for this week’s episode. Please check out his Bandcamp page and give a listen to “Muckrakers,” the album from which the music on today’s episode came, and several other releases.