Ben Francisco has been locked in since the start of spring training, and through five games that right fielder is 7-for-21 with two home runs, five RBI and six runs scored.
Today, though, is the type of day where the Phillies could really need their new No. 5 hitter.
Mets lefty Jon Niese, who starts today against Roy Halladay, is the type of pitcher that in the past has given this line-up fits. Last year, he started three games against the Phillies and pitched at least seven innings while holding them under three runs in each one.
As good as Jayson Werth's overall numbers were last year, he actually hit better against righties (.300/.382/.556, 21 HRs in 453 PAs) than he did against lefties (.287/.402/.479, 6 HRs, 199 PAs). Against Niese, he had three singles with five strikeouts and one walk in 9 plate appearances.
We'll see how Francisco and the rest of the Phillies' line-up fares today:
- Shane Victorino CF
- Placido Polanco 3B
- Jimmy Rollins SS
- Ryan Howard 1B
- Ben Francisco RF
- Raul Ibanez LF
- Carlos Ruiz C
- Wilson Valdez 2B
- Roy Halladay RHP