Cliff Lee's Turn to Keep the Dream Alive in 4:05 Start

Cliff Lee's Turn to Keep the Dream Alive in 4:05 Start

The Phillies hand the ball to Cliff Lee this afternoon in a 4:05 start at Citizens Bank Park as the Fightins look to complete the sweep of the Miami Marlins to keep the postseason dream alive. Lee gets paid best-in-the-game type money, so now is as good a time as any for him to get an important victory for this club. He's been solid all year, but just like the Phillies, the ball never seemed to bounce his way for the first few months. With the team's luck taking a positive turn of late, why not Cliff's as well?

Lee (4-7, 3.50) will face Marlins right-hander Josh Johnson (8-11, 3.81) who has gone through some struggles of his own in 2012.

The Phils will look to finish off a perfect home stand today after sweeping the Rockies over the weekend. The last time they won each game of a home stand that consisted of at least six games was way back in 2010. Glory days.

Scoreboard watching has turned rather fun as of late, so we'll be doing plenty more of that today.

The Wild Card Standings Heading Into Wednesday Games:

GB 0 - Atlanta @ Milwaukee 8:10 (Maholm, 12-9, 3.67 vs. Gallardo, 14-8, 3.76)

GB 0 - St. Louis @ Padres 6:35 (Lohse, 14-2, 2.81 vs. Richard, 12-12, 3.78)

GB 1 - LA Dodgers @ Diamondbacks 9:40 (Harang, 9-8, 3.75 vs. Cahill, 10-11, 3.98)

GB 2.5 - Pittsburgh @ Cincy 7:10 (Burnett, 15-6, 3.68 vs. Bailey, 10-9, 4.03)

GB 4 - Philadelphia

GB 4 - Milwaukee (see Atlanta above)

GB 5 - Arizona (see Dodgers above)

Tonight's Lineup, 4:05 start before heading to Houston:


Follow The700Level on Facebook and Twitter.

Watch: The Phillies pulled off the old double steal


Watch: The Phillies pulled off the old double steal

The Philadelphia Phillies are attempting to salvage something this afternoon in Detroit this as they take on the Tigers. The Fightins got on the board early and hold a 2-0 lead midway through the second.

After a Peter Bourjos single scored Ryan Howard, Odubel Herrera came up to bat and didn't even have to move to get another run in.

The Phillies pulled off a double steal with Bourjos taking second which allowed Andres Blanco to come home easily.

With the Phils showing such little pop at the plate this season, a little hustle and ingenuity is needed.

Today's lineup: Phillies try to salvage game against struggling Anibal Sanchez


Today's lineup: Phillies try to salvage game against struggling Anibal Sanchez

Justin Verlander mowed down the Phillies last night in a 3-1 Tigers victory, but the Phils have a chance to strike back this afternoon against a struggling pitcher who hasn't had much career success against them.

Anibal Sanchez will take the hill for the Tigers and oppose Aaron Nola in today's series finale (1:10 p.m. on CSN). To say Sanchez hasn't had a great start to his season would be an understatement. He's 3-5 with a 6.32 ERA and opponents are batting .270 against him.

In his career against the Phillies, Sanchez is just 4-8 with a 4.94 ERA. Granted, most of those numbers came in the early part of his career with the Florida Marlins, when he regularly faced powerful Phillies lineups. As one might expect, Ryan Howard, who is again in the lineup today as the designated hitter and batting fifth, has seen Sanchez plenty of times. His 42 at-bats against Sanchez are tied for third-most against the 32-year-old righty. Howard's done OK against Sanchez — 9 for 31 (.290 average) with two homers and four RBI. Maybe some familiarity will finally lead to a breakout game for Howard. But, if his massive slump is any indication, maybe not.

For as poor as Sanchez's start to the season has been, Aaron Nola's first six weeks of 2016 have been at the other end of the spectrum.

Today's Phillies starter is 3-3 with a 2.85 ERA. But he's been better than those numbers show.

His .900 WHIP is third in the NL, as is his 5.82 strikeout-to-walk ratio. His 6.45 hits allowed per nine innings is fourth in the NL, as is his 1.65 walks per nine innings. His 64 strikeouts rank eighth in the NL. Imagine if he got more than the 2.89 runs of support he's been getting in his starts.

As for the rest of the Phillies' lineup today, the only changes see Andres Blanco getting the start for Cesar Hernandez, batting seventh and Cameron Rupp behind the plate, batting sixth.

1. Odubel Herrera CF
2. Freddy Galvis SS
3. Maikel Franco 3B
4. Tommy Joseph 1B
5. Ryan Howard DH
6. Cameron Rupp C
7. Andres Blanco 2B
8. Tyler Goeddell LF
9. Peter Bourjos 1B

1. Cameron Maybin CF
2. J.D. Martinez RF
3. Miguel Cabrera DH
4. Victor Martinez 1B
5. Nick Castellanos 3B
6. Steven Moya LF
7. James McCann C
8. Mike Aviles 2B
9. Jose Iglesias SS

Watch: Miguel Cabrera gives Jeremy Hellickson thumbs up for fooling him on nasty pitch


Watch: Miguel Cabrera gives Jeremy Hellickson thumbs up for fooling him on nasty pitch

The Phillies once again couldn't find much offense and fell to the Tigers in Detroit last night by a final of 3-1.

But at least the pitching showed something.

There was a fun moment between Jeremy Hellickson and Miguel Cabrera after Hellickson threw quite a nice pitch that fooled Miggy.

Here's how Jim Salisbury described the fun battle:

Hellickson served up a down-the-middle fastball to Miguel Cabrera in the first inning and Cabrera swatted it for an RBI double. He has four RBIs in the first two games against the Phillies.
In the third inning, Hellickson struck Cabrera out on a nasty changeup for the third out. The pitch was so good that Cabrera flashed Hellickson a thumbs-up before spiking his helmet to the ground.
Hellickson’s changeup has been very good lately.
“I really feel comfortable with it right now and I’m throwing it for a lot of strikes,” he said.

And here's the thumbs up: