The struggling Philadelphia Phillies are showing signs to turning their miserable season around. Cliff Lee will do his best to follow suit on Wednesday when he takes the mound in hopes of completing a three-game sweep for the Phillies. After dropping 11 of its previous 12 games, Philadelphia won its fourth in a row with a 3-2 triumph on Tuesday as ace Roy Halladay returned from the disabled list.
While the Phillies are trending upward, the struggling Los Angeles Dodgers are headed in the wrong direction. Los Angeles has dropped four in a row and seven of its last eight to plummet three games behind National League West-leading San Francisco. A lack of offense is primarily to blame for Los Angeles, which has mustered just 2.27 runs per game in its last 26 contests.
Philadelphia vs Los Angeles
When: 3:10 PM ET, Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Where: Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, California
TV: 3:10 p.m. ET, CSN (Philadelphia), FSPT (Los Angeles)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Phillies LH Cliff Lee (1-6, 3.92 ERA) vs. Dodgers LH Clayton Kershaw (7-5, 2.84)
Lee was simply dazzling in his last outing versus the Dodgers, striking out 12 in a 2-1 loss on June 5. The 33-year-old is 2-1 in his career against Los Angeles. Lee yielded three runs on nine hits over six innings on Friday in a 6-2 loss to Colorado.
Kershaw is 0-4 over seven career starts versus Philadelphia – although he received a no-decision in a June 4 outing. The reigning National League Cy Young Award winner yielded three runs on eight hits over seven innings in that encounter. Kershaw received better news in his last outing, picking up the victory after permitting one run on six hits in as many innings.
1. Philadelphia OF Hunter Pence came through in the clutch with a two-run single in the eighth on Tuesday. Pence, who has struggled with runners in scoring position this season (.225), is a paltry 1-for-15 versus Kershaw.
2. Prior to Tuesday’s game, the Dodgers placed right-hander Chad Billingsley on the 15-day disabled list with right elbow inflammation. The move was made retroactive to July 8 – and Billingsley is being tabbed to start Monday’s game versus St. Louis.
3. Phillies beleaguered setup man LHP Antonio Bastardo retired his only batter on Tuesday. Bastardo has been under fire this season after a spectacular run in 2011.