The Phillies had one of their first halves in ten years, going 37-50 headed into the All-Star Break. Well it's only been four days since they played, but I'm sick and tired of seeing this team playing like crap as well as being sick and tired of being negative about this team. So for the beginning of this second half I am going to be positive about this team because it's not over, yet.
Cliff Lee (1-5, 3.98 ERA) will look to give the Phillies a good start to the second-half. The lefthander is coming off of his first win of the season, back on July 4th against the Mets. Lee tossed eight innings of two-run ball while allowing seven hits, one walk and struck out nine. It took fourteen starts for Lee to get his first win of the season, coming on his last start of the first-half and he will look to make the second-half more successful for the Phillies as well as himself. Last season, Lee went 8-2 with a 1.97 ERA in the second half. Lee has not faced the Rockies this season and in one career start, Lee is 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA against them.
On the hill for the Rockies will be rookie Christian Friedrich (4-6, 5.98 ERA), who is making his thirteenth start of the season. Along with the rest of the Rockies' starting rotation, Friedrich has struggled this season. Part of a four-man rotation, Friedrich, along with the rest of the Rockies starters, are limited to an low-pitch limit per start.
In his last start before the break, Friedrich was shelled for six earned runs through 4 1/3 innings against the St. Louis Cardinals. While he walked three and struck out five, Friedrich was knocked around for his sixth loss of the season. Friedrich has never faced the Phillies before in his career.
Shane Victorino, reportedly "down" or angry about being scheduled to hit seventh on Sunday, will bat second tonight. With the lefty Friedrich pitching, Juan Pierre is not in the lineup. Placido Polanco will hit seventh.
The Phillies have a long uphill drive if they have plans for the postseason. Sitting 14 games back in the NL East and 10 games back in the Wild Card, the Phillies will have to prove that they aren't sellers this month. With just a little over two weeks until the trade deadline, the Phillies still need to figure out what they are doing with lefthander Cole Hamels. Word on the street is that they are baking up a huge offer for him. Basically, these next two weeks are going to make or break the 2012 Phillies.
Tonight's lineup @ Colorado:
- Rollins, SS
- Victorino, CF
- Utley, 2B
- Howard, 1B
- Ruiz, C
- Pence, RF
- Polanco, 3B
- Mayberry, LF
- Lee, P
TV: CSN ; Radio: 1210 WPHT, 94 WIP
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