|Roy Oswalt||Jon Lieber|
|16 - 11, 2.91||13 - 12, 4.67|
Two chances to win one is the way I look at it, because I refuse to consider the possibility of a road sweep as anything more than a pipe dream. Tonight we probably go without Ensberg, tomorrow we go without an ace.
I'd place the bet tonight.
It was also Roy Oz vs. Jon Lieber back on July 26. Both pitched well, but Roy pitched longer, and he therefore took the win when Mike Lamb hit a walkoff homer against Ryan Madson.
Morgan Ensberg was 0 for 3 against Lieber in that game, and it remains his only game experience against the Phillies' starter. If you're on the fence about playing Morgan tonight, I think that greenness is a good enough reason to sit him down and get him the rest I'm sure he needs.
Lance Berkman--who evidently had been hiding the icepacks he's been using on his knees until they were glimpsed by an AP guy yesterday--is 8 for 24 lifetime against Lieber, and Ausmus is 8 for 29. Among those with a significant amount of at-bats, it only gets worse from there, although Willy T did scratch out a hit in three tries in July.
On the other hand, no-one on the Phillies has faced Oswalt more than 17 times, but Lofton is 4 for 8, Lieberthal is 3 for 6, and some guy who I've never heard of, named Ramon Martinez, is 5 for 15.
It remains to be seen whether the Phillies will draw any meaningful momentum from their extreme near miss last night, or whether the Astros, well-nigh somnolent for only the 27 outs that followed their runs scored, can wake up in time to win this series before it gets even.