The Phillies are coming off of a six-game road trip in which they took both series two to one. First, the Phillies took the first two of three against the Braves over the weekend. Eying up a sweep, a disaster ensued and the Phillies moved on to Cincinnati for a three-game set with the NL Central-leading Reds. The Phillies took the first game while dropping the second. In the finale, Roy Halladay did his thing as he earned his ninth win of the year in the 6-2 win. Tonight, the Phillies are back home and Cliff Lee (4-7, 3.52 ERA) is on the mound as the Phillies take on the Rockies and Jeff Francis (5-4, 5.73 ERA).
Cliff Lee was phenomenal on Saturday against the Braves, tossing seven scoreless frames to notch his fourth win of the season. Lee allowed five hits, a walk, and struck out five Braves in his first consecutive win since he won seven straight starts from July 30 to September 5, 2011. Lee has been spectacular over his last three starts. He is 2-0 and has a 1.31 ERA in 20 2/3 innings over that stretch. Lee has faced the Rockies once before this season. Back on July 13, the lefty was nabbed for three runs (two earned) over six innings of work. He took the loss in his second career start against the Rockies. In two starts (13 innings), Lee is 1-1 with a 2.08 ERA against the Rox.
Despite tossing 24 innings over his last five starts, Jeff Francis' Rockies have won four of them. Francis has been the only Rockies' pitcher to exceed the team-allowed pitch count of 75 in four of his last five. Francis has only one win over that span and has a 4.87 ERA to tag along with it. In his last start, against the Padres on Sunday, Francis only lasted 3 2/3 innings before being yanked. The lefty allowed five earned runs on 10 hits in the no-decision outing. Back on June 21, Francis kept the Phils in check; allowing just one earned run on six hits. He took the no-decision in that matchup. In his career, Jeff Francis is 1-1 with a 6.03 ERA.
Carlos Ruiz Activated from DL, Placido Polanco sent to DL:
Carlos Ruiz has been activated from the DL after spending the last month and then some with a plantar fasciitis (inflammation of the bottom of the foot). Chooch is hitting .345 with 14 home runs, 58 RBI, while scoring 47 runs. His replacement, Erik Kratz, has certainley held his own behind the plate in Ruiz's absence. In 38 games, Kratz is hitting .287 with 9 home runs and 24 RBI.
Placido Polanco's career is basically over. He has been to the DL - well honestly I can't count how many times he's been to the DL this season. It's a sad end to a great guy's career, but the injuries just caught up with him. Kevin Frandsen will have to do for the remainder of the season.
The Phillies enter tonight's home stand eight games back in the Wild Card race. With a "light schedule" ahead, it certainley raises the question: Can this team do it? I don't know if they will, but I know it's still possible. Let's take it one game at a time.
Tonight's Lineup vs Rockies:
- Rollins SS
- Pierre LF
- Utley 2B
- Wigginton 1B
- Mayberry CF
- Brown RF
- Frandsen 3B
- Kratz C
- Lee P
TV: CSN ; Radio: 1210 WPHT, 94 WIP.
Follow Erik on Twitter @ErikSeyboldPHI.