Philadelphia first baseman Ryan Howard received a cortisone injection as treatment for bursitis in his left ankle. Howard therefore will not play tonight. Despite his assertion that he wants the Phillies' best lineup, this news is likely music to Tony La Russa's ears. Long a believer in the small sample sized head-to-head matchup splits, La Russa is likely very aware of Howard's .500 BA./.600 OBP/.875 SLG/1.475 OPS line over 20 PA against Kyle Lohse. And even though I don't place near as much stock in head-to-head splits as the field manager, after viewing this line, even I am somewhat relieved that Lohse won't be tossing the ball toward the plate tonight with Howard attempting to mash it.
The Wild Card frontrunning Braves square off tonight against the Marlins. Southpaw Mike Minor gets the start for Atlanta while Florida will send Ricky Nolasco to the hill. The Braves lead the Redbirds in the Wild Card standings by 3.5 games heading into action tonight.
Here are the starting pitchers for the Cards and Phils, with an appropriately ominous picture of Doc Halladay...
|2011 - Roy Halladay||18-5||30||30||8||1||0||0||219.2||198||61||57||9||30||211||2.34||1.04|
|2011 - Kyle Lohse||13-8||33||28||1||1||0||0||174.0||165||78||70||16||41||98||3.62||1.18|