Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Game 125: Hey, this could be fun

There is a certain lack of anticipation for Phillies baseball on most nights because reality dictates it. Then, even when the season is rendered irrelevant, there are still nights like Thursday:

Game 125: Hey, this could be fun

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(Evan Vucci/AP file photo)
(Evan Vucci/AP file photo)

There is a certain lack of anticipation for Phillies baseball on most nights because reality dictates it. Then, even when the season is rendered irrelevant, there are still nights like Thursday:

Cueto vs. Hamels.

It's a matchup of two of the best pitchers in the National League. Johnny Cueto leads everyone with 16 wins and a 2.44 ERA. Hamels has a 2.94 ERA with 168 strikeouts in 171 1/3 innings. He is seeking his 15th win, which would tie a career high.

Both figure to finish high in Cy Young balloting. Cueto is currently viewed as the favorite.

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Charlie Manuel's lineup includes no one from the starting nine on opening day:

1. Juan Pierre 7
2. Kevin Frandsen 5
3. Chase Utley 4
4. Ryan Howard 3
5. Domonic Brown 9
6. Laynce Nix 8
7. Erik Kratz 2
8. Michael Martinez 6
9. Cole Hamels 1

Jimmy Rollins, apparently, has a day off. He is 3 for 15 lifetime against Cueto with three doubles.

Dusty Baker will finally appease a hungry Philadelphia crowd by starting Wilson Valdez:

1. Zack Cozart 6
2. Drew Stubbs 8
3. Jay Bruce 9
4. Ryan Ludwick 7
5. Todd Frazier 5
6. Miguel Cairo 3
7. Wilson Valdez 4
8. Ryan Hanigan 2
9. Johnny Cueto 1


Have a question? Send it to Matt Gelb's Mailbag.

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