Phillies-Diamondbacks: 5 things you need to know

Phillies-Diamondbacks: 5 things you need to know

July 26, 2014, 2:00 pm
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Phillies vs. Diamondbacks
7:05 p.m. on NBC10

The Phillies look to make it three wins in a row Saturday night when they take on the Arizona Diamondbacks in the middle game of a three-game series at Citizens Bank Park.

Cliff Lee is on the mound to make his second start since returning from the disabled list. All eyes will be on the lefty with the trade deadline a mere five days away.

Can Cliff rebound?
In his first start in over two months, Lee allowed six runs on a dozen hits Monday against the Giants.

Lee's velocity was decent -- 88 to 90 mph with a touch of 91 in the first inning -- but he missed some spots as the game went on and could not make a lead stand up.

Lee's opponents have hit .302 this season. They hit .238 from 2011 to 2013.

In his last outing, he uncharacteristically missed the plate early in counts. Lee threw first-pitch strikes to just 13 of the 28 batters he faced. He threw 59 strikes and 31 balls in all.

Lee has made seven career starts against the D-backs and is 4-1 with a 3.12 ERA. He faced Arizona at Chase Field earlier this season and allowed five runs (three earned) in six innings.

Among D-backs, Aaron Hill has done the most damage off Lee, going 9 for 26 (.346) with two doubles. Paul Goldschmidt is 2 for 10, but both hits were homers.

Go Grady go
Grady Sizemore has not stopped hitting since joining the Phillies. He clubbed two more doubles Friday night to give him four in a Phils uniform.

In 11 games here, Sizemore has hit .341 with an .825 OPS. The leadoff role seems to suit him -- he's 12 for 30 batting first as a Phillie.

It's been a hot start, though it's worth noting Sizemore got off to a similarly strong start in his first 11 games with the Red Sox this year, hitting .308 with two doubles and two homers before bottoming out.

Howard returns
After sitting three straight games, Ryan Howard is back in the Phillies' lineup against right-hander Josh Collmenter.

Howard has just one home run in his last 121 plate appearances and three doubles in his last 55 games, but the Phillies' hope is that the time off refreshed him.

Howard's struggles at CBP have been a major reason the Phillies have one of the worst home records in all of baseball. He's hit .188 in Philly with seven homers and a .592 OPS.

Scouting Collmenter
Collmenter (8-5, 3.64) has been Arizona's most consistent starting pitcher this season.

The 28-year-old has a unique delivery, an exaggerated overhand motion where his body contorts to almost a straight line before his release.

Collmenter throws his 86-89 mph cutter about 70 percent of the time. He also uses a changeup and, on rare occasions, a curveball.

Active Phillies have one double and no homers against him in 51 at-bats.

This and that
• Domonic Brown hit his seventh homer of the year Friday and is hitting .300 over his last 18 games to raise his season batting average by 14 points.

• Mark Trumbo is 4 for 33 (.121) with no extra-base hits, one walk and 10 strikeouts in 10 games since returning from a stress fracture in his foot.

• Jimmy Rollins' 2015 option vested last night in his second plate appearance. Rollins needed 1,100 plate appearances over a two-year span for his $11 million option next season to trigger. The Phils' remarkably durable shortstop has played 259 of 265 games since 2013, and has missed just 12 of the Phillies' last 427 contests overall.

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