June 7, 2009 9:46 PM

Bunts and Balks (6/7)

Dodgers and Phillies meet for Game Four of NLCS in Los Angeles

Matt Stairs is unavailable for the Phillies on Sunday night, as he is attending his daughter's high school graduation. The Phillies bench is composed of Chris Coste, the backup catcher who will not play (because he is the backup catcher), Greg Dobbs, who can only hit right-handed pitching, and Eric Bruntlett, who can only hit tee-ball pitching (presumably). Fortunately, Chan Ho Park is available as a right-handed bat off the bench, as Manuel (correctly) does not allow him to pitch.

Jimmy Rollins has been bumped down to the sixth spot in the lineup. This was an overdue move, as tonight's leadoff batter, Shane Victorino, has been getting on base much more regularly. It would be good to see Rollins batting sixth for more than just a few games.

This ESPN announcing crew is tough to listen to, and it should be possible to mute Joe Morgan, without muting everyone else. Every sentence from Joe Morgan makes every viewer less knowledgeable. Actually, muting Steve Phillips and Jon Miller is prudent, as well.

The Lehigh Valley IronPigs (AAA) were shut down by the Louisville Bats, 4-1. Jeremy Slayden hit a solo homer in the ninth, for the only run. The Bats' Homer Bailey (6.2 IP, 7H/0BB, 0ER) outpitched Lehigh Valley's Gustavo Chacin (5 IP, 9H/1BB, 2R(1ER)). Lou Marson had a pair of singles, but the IronPigs' offense suffered again from the absence of Pablo Ozuna. The two teams play again, on Monday night.

The Reading Phillies (AA) had a 2-0 lead, but lost to the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, 4-2. Kyle Drabek makes his second start for the club, after an off-day on Monday, at home against the Trenton Thunder.

The Clearwater Threshers (A) had a 2-0 lead, but lost to the Palm Beach Cardinals, 6-4. Carlos Monasterios, acquired from the Yankees in the Bobby Abreu trade, took the loss, in relief. The Threshers face the Cardinals again on Monday night.

Former Phillies farmhand Matt Maloney made his major league debut for the Reds on Saturday. Maloney, a twenty-five year old lefty, allowed only two runs (six hits/one walk) in a no-decision against the Cubs. Maloney has been good in the minors (1.18 career WHIP), has a 58/9 K/BB in AAA in 2009, but the $95 price for sponsoring his baseball-reference page seems rather high. He throws four pitches, none of which are overpowering, and could be good in the short-term, like Kyle Kendrick was in 2007. The Phillies dealt Maloney in 2007, for a half-season of veteran Kyle Lohse, and I still like that deal. So far.

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