National League Preview from The Sports Network|
Friday, July 13th
(All times eastern)
Philadelphia Phillies (37-50) at Colorado Rockies (33-52), 8:40 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Philadelphia - Cliff Lee (1-5, 3.98)
Colorado - Christian Friedrich (4-6, 5.98)
(Sports Network) - The Philadelphia Phillies are at rock bottom right now and
hope to turn things around when they start the second half of the season
tonight against the Colorado Rockies in the opener of a three-game series.
The five-time defending NL East champions are last in the division -- 14 games
behind upstart Washington -- and were swept in three games by the Atlanta
Braves before the All-Star break. Sunday's 4-3 loss to the Braves dropped the
Phillies to 1-10 in their last 11 games. Vance Worley pitched that day and
allowed three runs in six innings, while Raul Valdes suffered the loss in
relief after giving up the go-ahead run on a homer to Brian McCann.
"I was around the zone, and they put the bat on the ball," Worley said. "They
fouled a lot of pitches off and made me grind today."
Jason Pridie filled in for a slumping Shane Victorino in center field and
added a home run and three RBI for the Phillies, who will begin a six-game
road trip Friday against the Rockies and Los Angeles Dodgers.
Philadelphia is waiting the return of starting pitcher Roy Halladay (shoulder)
and already welcomed back Chase Utley (knee) and Ryan Howard (Achilles).
Halladay just pitched three innings in a rehab stint with Clearwater and could
return to the rotation next week.
"He was happy just to get back out on the mound again," said Joe Jordan, the
Phillies' director of player development, on the club's website. "It had been
awhile since he was out there."
Cliff Lee will handle pitching duties for the Phillies tonight and recorded
his first win of the season on July 4 against the New York Mets. Lee struck
out nine and gave up two runs in eight innings of a 9-2 win, as he improved to
1-5 in 14 starts with a 3.98 earned run average. Lee is 2-0 with a 1.16 ERA in
three regular and postseason starts against Colorado.
The Rockies will kick off a six-game homestand versus Philadelphia and
Pittsburgh tonight and went 3-4 on a seven-game road trip through St. Louis
and Washington before the break.
Colorado took two of three meetings against the Nationals from July 6-8 and
won the series with last Sunday's 4-3 win. Jordan Pacheco scored the go-ahead
run on a wild pitch in the top of the ninth inning and Rafael Betancourt
struck out two in the bottom half for his 15th save.
Eric Young Jr. homered, while Dexter Fowler and Pacheco both had two hits and
a run scored for the Rockies.
"I hit it and I was like 'aww, yeah,'" Young said. "That's one of those
[batting practice] feelings when you know you catch one in [batting practice]
and it was just a matter of if it had the height, and then once I saw it, it
was like, 'yeah, that's gonna get over.'"
Colorado is last in the NL West at 13 games off the pace and will send
Christian Friedrich to the mound Friday. Friedrich is 0-5 with a 7.85 earned
run average in his last six starts -- all Colorado losses -- and was beaten by
the Cardinals his last time out on July 5. In the 6-2 setback at Busch
Stadium, Friedrich was reached for six runs in 4 1/3 innings to fall to 4-6 in
12 starts to go along with a 5.98 ERA.
The young left-hander is 1-3 in five starts at Coors Field and will face the
Phillies for the first time.
Philadelphia won two of three games versus the Rockies from June 19-21 this
season at Citizens Bank Park and has won 11 of the past 13 matchups in the
07/13 10:45:56 ET