Well, Cole Hamels didn't pitch very well last night, and once you get past him in the Phillies rotation, there isn't a whole lot left to be excited about. But there isn't *nothing* to be excited about. The one other pitcher you could possibly work up some enthusiasm for is tonight's starter Aaron Harang. It isn't entirely unreasonable to be excited about him.
Yes, I said that. It is possible to be excited about Aaron Harang. What a world we're living in.
Tonight's start is actually an important one for Harang. After two months of great starts, starts that exceeded everyone's most optimistic projections, Harang pitched a dud his last time out. Five earned runs in 5 2/3 innings, his worst start since he gave up five runs in six innings on April 29. Harang responded to his crappy April 29 start by pitching 39 innings over his next six starts, allowing just seven earned runs, and ending the month with a May ERA of 1.62.
So what he does here is important. Will he go back to the insane, uncharacteristically amazing pitching we've seen? Or will the real Aaron Harang finally rip off the Good Aaron Harang mask he's been wearing and show himself to the world? We'll find out tonight. Who's backing up Harang? Let's find out.
|PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES||CINCINNATI REDS|
|Ben Revere - RF||Brandon Phillips - 2B|
|Odubel Herrera - CF||Joey Votto - 1B|
|Chase Utley - 2B||Todd Frazier - 3B|
|Ryan Howard - 1B||Jay Bruce - RF|
|Maikel Franco - 3B||Zack Cozart - SS|
|Cody Asche - LF||Brayan Pena - C|
|Freddy Galvis - SS||Ivan De Jesus - LF|
|Carlos Ruiz - C||Brennan Boesch - CF|
|Aaron Harang - RHP||Anthony DeSclafani - RHP|
It's the usual suspects. I have no particular objection to this lineup (aside from the fact that Ryne Sandberg put it together), but I'm starting to wish to see anyone else's name at catcher. Carlos Ruiz has had an utterly putrid season in every way imaginable and I utterly regret that the Phillies didn't trade him when they had the chance.
I don't want to end on a down note, so guess who's here to save the day! It's Maikel Franco!
Suck it, Franco haters.
Discuss the game in the comments below.