The Phillies are one win away from reaching the National League Championship Series for the fourth straight season. Falling short last year to the Giants was heartbreaking, sickening, and just an overall fluke. The Phillies hold a 2-1 lead in the NLDS against the Cardinals headed into tonight. Taking Game 3 in St. Louis seemed like it took an eternity, barely squeezing by, Ben Francisco powered the Phils through it. His three-run home run gave the Phillies the 3-0 lead, a lead that would become a one-run lead. The Phillies won Game 3, 3-2, inching closer to the NLCS.
Tonight, Roy Oswalt (9-10, 3.69 ERA) will take the hill in Game 4, looking to help advance the Phillies further into the postseason. Oswalt, who missed 9 scheduled starts due to a back injury, showed Charlie Manuel that he is healthy and ready for the postseason. In his last three starts, Oswalt is 2-1 with a 2.61 ERA. Oswalt handled the Cardinals on September 17th, the day the Phillies clinched the NL East title. That win was the last win for the Phillies before embarking on an eight-game losing streak. In that start, Oswalt held the Cardinals to 5 hits through 7 scoreless innings, adding 7 strike outs to the mix.
Oswalt wasn’t as bright in his next start, losing to the Nationals after giving up 6 earned runs over 7 2/3 innings. In Little Roy’s last start of the season, he was phenomenal. He allowed just 3 hits and 1 walk over 6 scoreless innings against the Braves in the Phillies’ 7-1 victoriy. It was their 101st win. Little Roy has been in a couple of milestone games in his past two wins. Throwing a gem to clinch the NL East as well as tossing another great game to tie the franchise record in wins. Tonight, Little Roy can push the Phillies to their fourth consecutive NLCS berth. In his last postseason start against the Cards, he knocked them out of the playoffs. He tossed a gem in Game 5 of the NLCS to take the Astros to the World Series. Oswalt is certainly no stranger to the Cards, in nearly 200 innings pitched against, he has a 10-9 record with a 3.19 ERA, also tallying 146 strikeouts.
Opposing the Phillies will be righty Edwin Jackson (12-9, 3.79 ERA). Jackson, who was acquired in late July, has been as good as promised, but as of late, he not been as great. In his last three starts, he has a 0-0 record and a 4.85 ERA. Jackson has never made a postseason start, although he has appeared in the postseason before. In the 2008 World Series, he pitched against the Phillies, allowing 1 earned run on 2 hits in 4 1/3 innings.
First Pitch @ 6:00 PM ET!Tonight’s Lineup: 1. J Roll SS
2. Chutts 2B
3. Pence RF
4. Rhyno 1B
5. Victorino CF
6. Rauuuul LF
7. Polly 3B
8. Chooch C
9. Little Roy P. Let’s Go Phillies!
SW- Erik Seybold