Photo: Philliedelphia/Steve Trapani
The Phillies have won four-games-in-a-row since losing the first game of the second-half. Last night, Roy Halladay made his return to baseball and allowed just two earned runs over five innings to take the no-decision. In the eighth inning, Hunter Pence smacked a two-run double to give the Phillies the 3-2 lead, saving Doc from the loss. It seems like the offense is clicking just at the right time as the Phillies are now 10 games under .500. This afternoon they're eyeing up a sweep of the Dodgers and Cliff Lee (1-6, 3.92 ERA) is on the hill against Clayton Kershaw (7-5, 2.84 ERA) in the series finale.
In Cliff Lee's last start, against the Rockies on Friday, he was unable to get a win. Lee allowed three runs, two of then earned over six innings of baseball against the Rockies. Allowing just nine hits, a walk and striking out four, Lee lost his sixth game of the season as he notched his 10th quality start of the season. With Lee being unable to get a win this season, except one, it's very annoying and worrying. Back on June 5th, Lee tossed 7 2/3 innings of two-run ball, allowing six hits and striking out 12 batters. Lee took the loss as the Dodgers struck late in the game with two runs in the eighth inning. In his career against the Dodgers, Lee is 2-1 with a 0.90 ERA.
On the hill for the Dodgers will be Clayton Kershaw, who is attempting to prevent the sweep from the Phillies. Kershaw is coming off of a win against the Padres on Friday night. Over six innings, the All-Star lefty allowed six hits and an earned run while walking three and striking out six. Before the break, Kershaw was tagged for five earned runs over 5 1/3 innings against Arizona. Back on June 4th, Kershaw allowed three earned runs on eight hits through seven innings in a late-inning win against the Phillies.
Things seem to be going good for the Phillies right now. But there is still no telling with this team. With a six-game home stand against the Giants and Brewers this weekend, the Phillies could get some more momentum before they head off to face the Braves and Nats the following weeks. If this team actually pushes for a spot in the playoffs, they're 13 out of the division and 9 1/2 out of the Wild Card, they might not have to sell after all. But it's still important to sign Cole Hamels.
Today's lineup @ Los Angeles
1. Jimmy Rollins, SS
2. Shane Victorino, CF
3. Chase Utley, 2B
4. Carlos Ruiz, C
5. Hunter Pence, RF
6. Ty Wigginton, 1B
7. Placido Polanco, 3B
8. John Mayberry, Jr. LF
9. Cliff Lee, P
TV: CSN, MLB Network ; Radio: 1210 WPHT, 94 WIP.
Follow Erik on Twitter @ErikSeyboldPHI.