Phillies (33-35) at Rockies (35-33)
4:10 p.m. – CSN
Behind an offensive outburst that has lasted two nights, the Phillies have notched a pair of comeback road wins in Minnesota and Colorado. Last night’s effort at Coors Field featured a five-run comeback and eight runs in all by the Phillies, who have 29 hits and a .354 batting average in their last two games.
Perhaps most impressively, the bullpen pitched 4 2/3 scoreless innings to secure the 8-7 win. Jeremy Horst, Michael Stutes, Jake Diekman, Justin De Fratus, Mike Adams and Jonathan Papelbon each pitched for a beleaguered pen that has gone 6 2/3 innings without allowing a run.
The action continues Saturday afternoon at hitter-friendly Coors Field.
Pettibone must go deep
After using so many relievers last night, the Phillies can’t afford to burn another batch before the seventh inning Friday. Jon Pettibone (3-2, 3.70) will be needed to go at least six innings, as he’s done in five of his 10 starts.
Pettibone was shaky his last time out, allowing six runs (four earned) in 5 1/3 innings to the Brewers. His ERA has risen from 3.00 to 3.70 his last five starts, which was to be expected. He had ridiculously low numbers with runners in scoring position – a batting average under .200 – in his first handful of starts. That has normalized and he’s now at .259.
Pettibone will obviously need to keep the ball low at Coors Field. The home run ball hasn’t been much of a problem for him to this point – he’s allowed seven in close to 60 innings.
Opposed by Chatwood
Tyler Chatwood (3-1, 2.14) starts for the Rockies. He’s pitched very well in six starts this season, registering 30 strikeouts and just 10 walks in 33 2/3 innings. He hasn’t gone very deep into games – no Rockies starter does – and has yet to pitch into the seventh inning.
Chatwood started against the Phillies last season and allowed two runs over five innings with four walks.
Chatwood began his career with the Angels, for whom he made 25 starts at age-21 in 2011. He was dealt to Colorado that November for catcher Chris Iannetta.
CarGo continues to mash
Carlos Gonzalez went 4 for 4 last night with a solo homer in the first inning, two runs, a walk and a steal.
In 25 games against the Phillies, including playoffs, Gonzalez has hit .421 with 14 extra-base hits and a 1.111 OPS.
We wrote Friday that Phillies pitchers needed to stay out of his power zones – low-and-in especially. Kyle Kendrick in the first inning threw him a first-pitch fastball low and in the middle of the plate and CarGo blasted it out to center.
More time for Frandsen?
The Phillies have to figure out some way to get Kevin Frandsen in the lineup more often. All the guy does when given an opportunity to play is hit.
Frandsen is 7 for his last 17 and has hit .327/387/.457 in 93 games with the Phils.
With Jimmy Rollins banged up, this is the perfect time to give him a few extra days off, play Freddy Galvis at short and give Frandsen some more work at second base.
Chase Utley will be back soon and there simply won’t be many opportunities for Frandsen, whose value as an extra man would be much more recognized if the Phillies were winning.
Best bench in baseball
Phillies pinch-hitters went 3 for 3 with the game-winning RBI Friday night. The bench has produced a major-league leading 29 pinch-hits this season to go along with a major-league leading .302 batting average. They’ve also driven in 16 runs, second only to the Reds.
Who knew the bench would be such a strength through 68 games?