Phillies-Cubs: 5 things you need to know

Phillies-Cubs: 5 things you need to know

June 14, 2014, 7:00 am
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Phillies vs. Cubs
3:05 p.m., CSN

The Phillies failed yet again to win four games in a row for the first time all season in a 2-1 loss to the Cubs on Friday night (see story).

The Phils (28-37) were one out away from being shut out for the ninth time before Domonic Brown knocked in their lone run in the ninth. With the tying run on third and the winning run on first, Carlos Ruiz struck out to seal the loss to the last-place Cubs (27-38).

Saturday afternoon, David Buchanan (1-3, 6.08) squares off against Edwin Jackson (4-6, 4.70).

Here are five things you need to know:

1. One more for Jimmy
One more hit for Jimmy Rollins, and he'll become the Phillies' new franchise leader in hits. Rollins tied longtime leader Mike Schmidt on Friday with career hit No. 2,234 — a leadoff double in the ninth inning (see story).

Rollins, a career .268 hitter, is already the Phils' all-time leader in doubles (466) and would break Schmidt's record in 389 fewer games if he gets the hit Saturday. The 35-year-old shortstop currently owns an eight-game hitting streak.

Although he's having a down year in terms of batting average (.249), his on-base percentage (.346) is his highest since 2008 and his slugging percentage (.405) is above .400 for just the second time in five seasons.

It'll be interesting to see — if the losses keep piling up — if Rollins will provide any hints as to whether he'd be willing to waive his no-trade clause after breaking the hits record. In the past, he made it clear he intended on setting it first.

2. Quick hook
Roberto Hernandez was in the midst of a pretty good performance Friday before he unjustifiably got the early heave-ho from home plate umpire Mark Ripperger after hitting Starlin Castro with a pitch (see Instant Replay). Castro, who was nailed with two outs and the bases empty in the sixth, had homered off Hernandez in the fourth.

Hernandez's outing was cut short at 81 pitches. He allowed only three hits, struck out five and walked two. Ryne Sandberg came out to protest and was subsequently ejected himself, leading the typically low-key Sandberg to mock Ripperger's tossing him.

Even Castro admitted after the game he didn't believe it was intentional: "I don’t think he would do that on purpose. He’s not like that. He’s not that kind of person. He told me he was sorry, it wasn’t on purpose. I was surprised he got ejected."

According to Major League Baseball, Ripperger is a Triple A umpire who substitutes in major-league games when the full-time umps vacation in mid-summer. And apparently he looks up to Scott Barry.

3. Stalling on all cylinders
Ripperger did the Phillies no favors on Friday, but the offense deserved the bulk of the blame. The bats managed only five hits — and just two in seven innings off starter Jake Arrieta — in the loss.

Chances are the Phils will need to put up some runs Saturday with Buchanan on the mound. The young right-hander hasn't exactly impressed in his first four games.

Buchanan won his big-league debut on May 24, limiting the Dodgers to two runs in five innings. But he's suffered three straight losses since, allowing 15 runs and 23 hits in 18 2/3 innings.

It's reasonable to suspect that Buchanan — a former seventh-round pick who owns a career 3.98 ERA in the minor leagues — could lose his rotation spot soon if he keeps tossing clunkers.

4. Scouting Jackson
Since striking out 11 batters and holding the Brewers scoreless over seven innings on May 17, Edwin Jackson hasn't been very good. In four outings since, the righty is 1-3 and has allowed 18 runs, 25 hits and 11 walks in 20 1/3 innings.

He hasn't fared much better in his career against the Phillies. In six games, he's 1-5 with a 5.60 ERA and 1.67 WHIP. At Citizens Bank Park, he's 0-4 with a 7.04 ERA. Collectively, current Phils are hitting .343 against him.

Jackson, however, does have strikeout stuff — he's punched out 73 in 74 2/3 innings. He throws a low-90s fastball, a mid-80s changeup and slider and a high-70s curve.

5. This and that
• The Phillies own a 2.36 ERA over the past seven games (4 wins, 3 losses).

• Despite Friday's loss, the Phils remain just 6½ games behind the first-place Braves.

Phillies vs. Jackson: Jimmy Rollins (7 for 13, 2 HR), Chase Utley (7 for 14), Ryan Howard (1 for 10, 7 K), Marlon Byrd (7 for 23, HR)

• The Phillies haven't won back-to-back series at home all year. They'll need to win Saturday and Sunday to change that.

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