ESPN's David Schoenfield has this on yesterday's game. I suppose the LHP thing is a semi-valid point, but Abad, as good a prospect as he is, isn't the kind of guy you want chucking into a pressure cooker like that. He has thrown just 19 major league innings. There just isn't the amount of veterans in that bullpen that you really need to have.
The rest hits pretty squarely on the mark. Its a bad lineup because there aren't enough stars in there. Even the Phillies who lost Jayson Werth in the winter and have Chase Utley injured still have a very good offensive unit. I wouldn't say there are any bad players, like Kaz Matsui or Pedro Feliz last year, but their cumulative run production just won't be enough over the season.
I'm surprised that Angel Sanchez batted second and will be interested to see if he stays there with Clint Barmes on the DL. Lance Berkman made a good comment about liking to hit behind Keppinger because he was always a tough out.
However, fans slagging off the Bill Hall acquisition already is very premature, but he's another bat that is one you want in a lineup complimenting others rather than actually being a centerpiece. In fact with the exception of Pence, who could arguably slot in nicely in any lineup in the five spot, the rest are 6-8 type hitters, even if Johnson and Wallace have the potential to be more.
The Astros face Cliff Lee tomorrow whose record against the Astros is 0-2 with a 9.35 ERA in two starts. He had a rough start in the late 2009 series where Houston swept the Phillies over four games at MMP.
Wandy Rodriguez meanwhile is 2-1 with a 3.05 ERA against the Phillies, and has a 3.12 ERA at Citizens Bank Park.
As many made the point last season, Wallace actually hits very well against lefties, although Mills seemed to sit him a lot against them last season. Therefore it would not surprise me if Mills sits Wallace, puts Lee at first base and plays Jason Michaels this evening. Gametime is 6.05 CT.