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Astros-Phillies Game Thread 5/14/12
Posted By Bill Baer On May 14, 2012 @ 5:45 pm In Game Threads,MLB,Philadelphia Phillies | 6 Comments
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.
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