Phillies at Reds: It's a Dog Day at the Ball Park

Phillies at Reds: It's a Dog Day at the Ball Park

It's a tough night for Phillies fans when Cliff Lee tosses seven strong innings and allows just two runs, yet the offense fails to put him in a position to get the win. Chase Utley gave us a brief moment of hope with his rare pinch-hit home run -- a true The Man moment -- but that didn't last long with the Reds getting some luck against Jeremy Horst and Mike Adams. The struggling offense will look to bounce back tonight against right-hander Homer Bailey (1-1, 5.73).

The Phils will counter with Kyle Kendrick (1-1, 5.40). Both pitchers have been solid in one outing this season and have gotten hit around a bit in another. Bailey was fantastic against the potent Nationals but then struggled against the also potent Cardinals.

Beerleaguer has a nice look at how effective Bailey has been over his past 10 starts (2.36 ERA and .169 opponents batting avg):

Bailey has a mid-90s fastball, a slider, curve and split. He uses the fastball most of the time, but turns to the slider when ahead vs. righties and the splitter when ahead vs. lefties.

Bailey's slider had the second-most vertical break in baseball last season, to Clayton Kershaw. The opposition hit .170 off the pitch. They're hitting .227 off his fastball through two starts this year.

Chase Utley is back in the lineup tonight and Humberto Quintero will handle the catching duties.

7:10 pm from Great American Ball Park. Look out for plenty of TV shots of dogs. It's Bark in the Park night, yo. Sad Darin Ruf isn't around for this one.

Also: Looks Like Rain. So get your patience on:

Maikel Franco day to day with sore wrist

Maikel Franco day to day with sore wrist

PITTSBURGH -- Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco, who was hit on the left wrist by a pitch on Friday night, is not in the starting lineup for Saturday’s game against the Pittsburgh Pirates (see lineup).

Franco was hit by a pitch from the Pirates’ Gerrit Cole in the first inning of the Phillies’ 4-0 victory then was removed after hitting a single in the third inning (see story).

“He’s still sore,” Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said Saturday. “He’s day to day. Maybe he will be back in the lineup (Sunday).

Franco suffered a fracture of the same wrist last August when he was hit by a pitch.

Andres Blanco is taking Franco’s place in the lineup after having two hits Friday night when he replaced the third baseman. Blanco is hitting .264 with three home runs in 73 games this season and is reportedly drawing some interest from contending teams looking to add bench help.

“I could see why he would be a desirable player,” Mackanin said. “We’re not going to give him away, though, if we do trade him. He’s played very well for us.”

Source: Brayden Schenn spurns Flyers' 2-year offer, wants $5.5 million

Source: Brayden Schenn spurns Flyers' 2-year offer, wants $5.5 million

It looks like the Flyers and Brayden Schenn are heading towards arbitration. 

A source tells Flyers Insider Tim Panaccio that the Flyers and Schenn's camp are at odds over the salary of Schenn's next contract.

Schenn turned down a two-year deal worth $4.25 million in the first year and $4.369 million in the second, according to the source, noting that Schenn is looking for a deal that would pay him $5.5 million this upcoming season.

Schenn is coming off a career year, setting career highs in goals (26) and points (59), and is now looking to cash in on his best season. Last season, Schenn earned $2.75 million.

General manager Ron Hextall has repeatedly said he believes a deal will get done, but at the moment nothing looks imminent.

Schenn's arbitration hearing is scheduled for Monday.

Today's Lineup: Andres Blanco in, Maikel Franco out after HBP last night

Today's Lineup: Andres Blanco in, Maikel Franco out after HBP last night

After being hit on the wrist by a pitch in Friday's win (see story), Maikel Franco will not play today. Instead, Andres Blanco will take his place, hitting third in the lineup. Blanco was 2 for 2 replacing Franco in the third inning on Friday, with an RBI and a run scored. 

Blanco has been reliable when called upon this season, hitting .264 with a .317 OBP in mostly a utility role.

Other than that, the lineup remains the same as Friday.

Peter Bourjos will leadoff after going 0 for 5 last night, followed by Odubel Herrara. After an All-Star first half, Herrara has hit .211 in July, but seemed to get back on track with three hits on Friday, while scoring two runs. 

After a brutal stretch of games and an extended All-Star break, Aaron Nola returned to form vs. the Marlins last week, tossing six shutout innings. Nola again looks to prove the doubters wrong again today vs. the Pirates, who he has never faced in his brief career. 

Here is tonight's lineup:

1. Peter Bourjos RF
2. Odubel Herrera CF
3. Andres Blanco 3B
4. Tommy Joseph 1B
5. Cameron Rupp C
6. Cody Asche LF
7. Freddy Galvis SS
8. Cesar Hernandez 2B
9. Aaron Nola P