Friday, May 21, 2010

Interleague Play begins

Interleague Play 2010 is here. The Phillies are looking for much better results out of this year's chapter as they've produced each of the last few years. They were infamously terrible during last year's contests against American League opponents.

The Phils are 30-51 in Interleague play since Charlie Manuel became manager in 2005. They are 3-12 against this weekend's opponent, the Boston Red Sox.

While struggling against the AL didn't come back to haunt them the last three seasons, it certainly didn't help. This year, the NL East appears to be more competitive and another horrendous showing in Interleague Play could put the Phils in a serious hole.

Jimmy Rollins is back in the leadoff spot tonight for the first time since early April. Boston expects to get their leadoff man, Jacoby Ellsbury, back for Saturday's contest.

While Boston has not lived up to expectations this season, standing at fourth in the AL East, they are an immensely talented team and pose a real test for this Phillies club.

The pitching match-ups are intriguing. John Lackey (4-2 4.86) vs. Cole Hamels (4-2 4-29) features two struggling former postseason stars. Lackey has not lived up to expectations since leaving the Angels for Boston. Hamels continues to search for his old form.

Saturday features Daisuke Matsuzaka (2-1 7.89) against Kyle Kendrick (2-1 5.24). Dice-K has made just a few starts this season and has been very wild and mostly ineffective. Kendrick has bounced back from a tough start as of late and is pitching well. The BoSox feature a nice test for KK.

The finale showcases two polar opposite veterans, Tim Wakefield (0-2 5.31) vs. Roy Halladay (6-2 1.64). Wakefield's knuckle-ball could give the Phillies fits as it's something they are not used to seeing. Halladay pitched well in a 2-1 loss his last outing and hopes the Phils can support him with the bats this time around.

It should be a good series. The Red Sox need the wins more than the Phillies do, but the Phillies need the confidence that they can beat AL teams.

1 comment:

  1. This game on Sunday did give the Phillies fits, with a little help from an anemic offense.