National League Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, July 24th (All times Eastern)
Milwaukee Brewers (44-51) at Philadelphia Phillies (43-54), 7:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Milwaukee - Zack Greinke (9-3, 3.57) Philadelphia - Cliff Lee (1-6, 3.72)
(Sports Network) - The hard-luck Cliff Lee hits the hill for Philadelphia tonight as the Phillies entertain Zack Greinke and the Milwaukee Brewers in the second contest of a three-game set.
Last season at this time, both the Phillies and Brewers were on their way to division titles, Philadelphia's fifth straight NL East crown and Milwaukee's first division championship since 1982.
Fast forward 10 months and the postseason is far from anyone's mind in both cities, with the Phillies sitting last in their division and the Brewers a season-high 11 1/2 games back in the Central after collapsing in a 7-6 setback to the Phils on Monday.
Ty Wigginton capped a four-run ninth inning with a sacrifice fly to lift Philadelphia, which also got a two-run single from Ryan Howard and a game- tying base knock from Carlos Ruiz in the frame.
"What can I say? I didn't get it done. It's really painful," remarked Brewers closer Francisco Rodriguez. "I had a couple of chances to put hitters away and didn't do it. I can't tell you how badly I feel."
Chase Utley and Howard hit back-to-back solo homers in the first inning for the Phillies, who won back-to-back games at home for the first time since June 25-26.
"It's good to see we can rally and come back," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "I think that's a good sign."
Carlos Gomez hit a three-run homer and scored three times for the Brewers, who have lost four in a row overall. Aramis Ramirez, Corey Hart and Ryan Braun added an RBI apiece.
Both teams now have a week to decide if they want to be buyers or sellers on the trade market.
Trade rumors are swirling around Milwaukee's starter, the well-regarded Greinke, who is a solid 9-3 with a 3.57 earned run average on the season. The 2009 AL Cy Young Award winner was reportedly offered a five-year extension worth around $100 million by the Brewers, but has balked with free agency on the horizon.
Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke skipped Greinke's last turn in the rotation to give his ace some rest, and he hasn't pitched since July 13. In his previous three starts the veteran had struggled, and he also hasn't been nearly as effective on the road this season, compiling a 4.41 ERA away from Brew City as opposed to a 2.56 ERA at Miller Park.
Greinke hasn't pitched against the Phillies since June 19, 2004 and is 1-1 with a 3.38 ERA in two career games versus Philadelphia.
Lee, also a former AL Cy Young Award winner, has fallen on hard times this season as the Phillies, who are just 4-12 when the left-hander starts, have put up little offense in support of him.
Lee again pitched well enough to win in his last start, allowing just one run on two hits in eight innings against Los Angeles on Wednesday, but Philadelphia could only scratch out one run off Clayton Kershaw and lost 5-3 in 12 innings.
Lee has three career starts against the Brewers and is 0-1 with a 4.74 ERA.
Milwaukee won two of three during its last visit to Philadelphia in April of 2011.
07/24 10:55:08 ET