Game 27: The return of Ibanez

Raul Ibanez is mired in an 0-for-30 slump. (Ross D. Franklin/AP)

With an 0 for 30 hitless streak hovering over his very existence (Wait, you mean it's not that dramatic?) Raul Ibanez returns to the Phillies lineup.

This is no surprise, even with John Mayberry Jr.'s success as left fielder recently. Ibanez remains Charlie Manuel's starting left fielder and why not? It is only May 1, the Phillies are paying Ibanez $11.5 million and a history of slow starts suggest the 38-year-old deserves a shot to hit out of it.

How long of a chance he receives will be the big question. He'll face Mets righthander Chris Young tonight, a pitcher he has had great success against in the past. In 29 at-bats, Ibanez has nine hits for a .310 average. Two of those hits are for extra bases.

Also, Pete Orr starts at second base, suggesting there is another platoon system developing. Wilson Valdez hit a ball out of the infield for the first time in 12 days on Saturday but he sits against the righthander -- as he's done of late.

The full lineup for ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball:

1. Shane Victorino 8
2. Placido Polanco 5
3. Jimmy Rollins 6
4. Ryan Howard 3
5. Ben Francisco 9
6. Raul Ibanez 7
7. Pete Orr 4
8. Brian Schneider 2
9. Cliff Lee 1


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