Something most Phillies fans would have never fathomed years ago will happen tonight when the Dodgers come to town to open a three-game set (see game notes) - Ryan Howard will start across from Chase Utley at Citizens Bank Park.
Utley's return is obviously the big story, but Howard's bat continues to sizzle and manager Pete Mackanin is rewarding Howard with starts. With a single in four at-bats during Sunday's 7-6 win over visiting Colorado, Howard is batting .367 with five homers, four doubles and 13 RBIs in 51 plate appearances since the All-Star break. He'll bat fifth Tuesday night, behind Maikel Franco.
Howard has now gotten his average up to .196 on the season. He's also up to 17 home runs and 40 RBIs for the campaign.
Much of tonight's lineup is the same as Mackanin has been throwing out as of late as the Phils have won eight of 12 games and find themselves 6.5 games out of the second wild-card spot in the National League. That said, Odubel Herrera is back in the second spot in the order after batting sixth on Sunday.
Tuesday's full lineup for the series opener can be found below:
1. Cesar Hernandez 2B
2. Odubel Herrera CF
3. Aaron Altherr LF
4. Maikel Franco 3B
5. Ryan Howard 1B
6. Cameron Rupp C
7. Freddy Galvis SS
8. Peter Bourjos RF
9. Vince Velasquez SP