This one is going to be quick and to the point. The Phillies need to start winning or people are going to stop coming to the ball park. Yesterday's 11-inning loss to the Braves was just another example of how this team has played baseball for the past two years. Lazy, un-driven, and shakey bullpen pitching. Tonight Cliff Lee (10-4, 3.05 ERA) will return to the mound after missing a start last Saturday (neck) and being pushed back as well. He will look to play stopper against the Braves, who will send out rookie Alex Wood (1-2, 3.51 ERA).
Word was last week that Cliff Lee was set to be traded. The 10-game winner had been rumored to be a hot-ticket for buying teams around the deadline. After being scratched from his start against the Tigers last Saturday, due to a stiff neck, many felt that it was due to a possible trade. However, once the deadline passed at 4 o'clock on Wednesday, Lee was still a Phil. Tonight he will look to stop the Phillies' bleeding. As a team, they have lost 10 out of their last 12 since the All-Star break and Lee has been handed one of those losses. His last time out, back on the 21st against the Mets, Lee was hit for five earned on seven hits through six innings. He'll look to bounce back from that start as well as his stiff neck.
Alex Wood notched his first MLB win last time out. Tuesday against the Rockies, the lefty tossed seven innings of two-run ball while striking out seven. Wood found help with his changeup, which he had trouble commanding this whole season. Wood has 1 2/3 innings of relief against the Phillies, posting a 5.40 ERA in that appearance. He is winless against the Phillies.
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Erik Seybold is a writer for Philliedelphia. Follow him on Twitter.