Left-hander Jamie Moyer, who faces the Blue Jays on Wednesday night at Citizens Bank Park, has thrown well lately. He is 1-2 with a 3.77 ERA (13 earned runs in 31 innings) in his previous five starts. He has walked just three and struck out 17 in that span.
The Phillies obviously need Moyer to keep pitching like he has -- Moyer is 14-8 with a 5.27 ERA against the Blue Jays in his career -- but they caught a bit of a break Wednesday. Toronto right-hander Roy Halladay had been scheduled to face Moyer, but he had to be scratched after he suffered a strained right groin Friday.
Right-hander Scott Richmond (4-3, 3.90 ERA) will take Halladay's turn in the rotation.
Phillies manager Charlie Manuel was asked if he was going to miss facing Halladay, who is one of the best pitchers in baseball.
"Yeah, it really makes me mad," Manuel said with a grin. "I was looking forward to seeing him pitch."
PHI: LHP Jamie Moyer (4-5, 6.11 ERA)
Moyer has been doing his job lately. He allowed eight hits and three runs and struck out three in six innings against the Mets on Thursday at Citi Field. He is 1-2 with a 3.77 ERA in his past five starts after he went 3-3 with an 8.15 ERA in his first seven starts. What has been the difference? With Moyer, it's pretty simple: He is throwing his pitches where he wants to throw them. Moyer's game is all about command and changing speeds. He has been doing that.
TOR: RHP Scott Richmond (4-3, 3.90 ERA)
On Friday, Richmond entered in relief in the fourth inning against the Marlins after Halladay exited with the groin injury. In 3 2/3 innings, Richmond allowed one run on two hits. When he takes the mound in Philly, he will be making his first start since June 6. Richmond opened the season 4-0 with a 2.67 ERA across his first five outings, earning the American League Rookie of the Month honor for April. Since then, the right-hander has gone 0-3 with a 5.06 ERA over seven appearances.
There has been plenty of talk recently about potential trades the Phillies could be making to shore up the rotation. Manuel said he doesn't think that talk has been a distraction to rookie left-handers J.A. Happ and Antonio Bastardo. "In baseball, there's always going to be talk," Manuel said. "There's always going to be things out there. I hope they don't let something like that bother them. Things like that are always going to be there." ... The Phillies had the opportunity to shuffle their rotation with Monday's off-day -- splitting up Happ and Bastardo could have been one option -- but they chose to stick with their current lineup: Cole Hamels, Moyer, Joe Blanton, Bastardo and Happ.
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Official game notes
WPHT 1210, WUBA 1480 (Español)
Thursday: Phillies (Joe Blanton, 4-3, 5.17) vs. Blue Jays (Casey Janssen, 2-3, 6.23), 1:05 p.m. ET
Friday: Phillies (Antonio Bastardo, 2-1, 5.25) vs. Orioles (Rich Hill, 2-1, 5.81), 7:05 p.m. ET
Saturday: Phillies (J.A. Happ, 4-0, 3.53) vs. Orioles (Brad Bergesen, 4-2, 3.79), 7:05 p.m. ET