Phillies Implementing Double Play Combination of Valdez & Martinez Tonight
The Philadelphia Phillies will be giving second baseman Chase Utley the day off today, which, when included with Jimmy Rollins' knee injury that has prevented him from playing regularly for the past half week, means that the team will be implementing a double play combination of Wilson Valdez and Michael Martinez against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Utley is getting a day of rest simply because he has played in the last five games, and manager Charlie Manuel doesn't want to wear down Utley, who is just returning from a knee injury that cost him more than a quarter of the season.
That leaves an already struggling Phillies' offense without a former Most Valuable Player winner and a five-time All-Star in the lineup. Wilson Valdez will be starting for Jimmy Rollins and batting seventh, and Michael Martinez will be playing for Chase Utley and hitting in the eighth spot in the lineup.
Now that doesn't necessarily mean they're not trying today, but it's sure not a confidence builder for starting pitcher Cole Hamels, who is currently tied with 10 other pitchers for the second most victories in the major leagues (7).
The Phillies will take on Hiroki Kuroda and the Los Angeles Dodgers at 7:05 p.m. tonight. Kuroda nearly no-hit the Phillies last season at Dodger Stadium. He is 2-0 with an 0.68 earned run average against the Phillies in his career.