Watch With a Broom: Will Phils Complete First Three-Game Sweep of Season?

Watch With a Broom: Will Phils Complete First Three-Game Sweep of Season?

Sure, the Phillies have completed two two-game sweeps this season, but two-game sweeps are like ties, and ties are like kissing your sister. Someone said that once. I'm not sure who. I don't actually believe it. I like ties.

I'll start over.

After showing (albeit limited) signs of a renewed swagger in the form of a 7-2 rout and a comeback win in the ninth, the Phillies aim to make it three in a row at Citizens Bank Park tonight when they take on the Rockies in the final leg of their three-game series at 7:05 (CSN / MLB Network / 94.1 / 1210)

[game notes below]

On the Mound
Vance Worley is the owner of 3-3 record, 2.80 ERA and 1.295 WHIP in 10 starts this season. He has given up exactly three runs in each of his last four starts, though those allowed at Camden Yards on June 9 were all unearned. Worley does not having a winning decision dating back to a 7-3 home win over the Padres on May 11. Of course, he didn't pitch for nearly a month after that one, landing on the DL. Of note, Worley has been much better in six starts on the road (1.89 ERA) than in his four appearances at home (4.30 ERA).

Standing opposed, Jeff Francis will be on the same 75-pitch count as Alex White and Josh Outman before him, as Rockies manager Jim Tracy has opted to go with a four-man rotation for reasons further explained here. As Corey Seidman referenced in his evening notes, you may remember Francis from such playoff defeats as Game 1 of the 2007 NLDS, in which Francis threw six innings of four-hit, two-walk, six-strikeout, two-run ball in the first win of an eventual Rockies sweep. Otherwise, Francis is 1-1 lifetime against the Phils in five starts with 6.84 ERA. He has made just two appearances this year, giving up eight runs in 3 1/3 and four runs in 5 1/3 within the last two weeks.

Good Vibes
Some reassuring facts re: the Phillies' history against the Rockies:

-- A win tonight would give the Phils' their second straight three-game sweep of the Rockies, dating back to last August in a series at Coors.
-- The Phils have twice swept the Rockies at home, once in 2004 in three games and once in 2010 in four games.
-- In their last 26 games, the Phillies are 22-4 against the Rockies.
-- In their last 15 at CBP, they are 13-2 against the Rockies.

Your nightly Elias-blows-my-mind reminder
Per the Sports Bureau:

"Last night marked the first time that the Phillies had a walk-off victory in which there was no RBI recorded on the winning run since May 4, 2008 vs SF ... In that game, Ryan Howard scored from 2nd base with 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th on Eugenio Velez’s fielding error at 2nd base on a ball hit by Geoff Jenkins ... Additionally for the Phils, last night was their 1st win this season when trailing in the 8th inning or later."

Charlie's 6/21 lineup
Coming off last night's unusual victory, the Phils will be sticking with the same lineup and order for the second straight game. Here's how they'll attack Fisher, and eventually the Colorado bullpen, in order:

1. Rollins, SS
2. Pierre, LF
3. Pence, RF
4. Ruiz, C
5. Victorino, CF
6. Polanco, 3B
7. Mayberry, 1B
8. Martinez, 2B
9. Worley, P

For the out-of-towners
As mentioned above, in addition to the local CSN broadcast, tonight's game will also be aired on the MLB Network. Enjoy

Even Mike Trout wants to see Sam Bradford's return to Philly

Even Mike Trout wants to see Sam Bradford's return to Philly

When Angels All-Star outfielder Mike Trout's six-year, $144.5 million contract ends in 2020, the Millville, New Jersey, native will be in his prime at 29 years old, and Phillies' fans dream of seeing Trout playing at Citizens Bank Park could be come true.

For the time being, though, Trout, a season-ticket holder, is just chilling at Lincoln Financial Field as the Eagles play the Vikings on Sunday because the Angels are almost as bad as the Phillies and even he couldn't stay away from Sam Bradford's return to Philadelphia.

Michael Del Zotto, Scott Laughton return to practice

Michael Del Zotto, Scott Laughton return to practice

VOORHEES, N.J. — The Flyers welcomed two more players out on to the rink for their practice following Saturday’s 6-3 win over Carolina. 

Michael Del Zotto (lower body) and Scott Laughton (lower body) returned to the ice for the first time since suffering injuries within days of each other. Before Sunday’s light practice, Del Zotto and Laughton had skated two consecutive days prior to work on their conditioning. 

“It’s nice to see them back with the group,” head coach Dave Hakstol said. 

Laughton, who injured himself during a training camp practice after losing an edge, was a bit more forward than Del Zotto on when he hopes to return. 

“I would say within the next five to seven days,” Laughton said.

The 22-year-old pointed to Saturday’s game with Pittsburgh as his target to return. 

As for Del Zotto, the defenseman didn’t want to jinx anything, saying it’s a “day-by-day” situation. He would like to think he’s working on the same timetable as Laughton. If that’s the case, he would be back either a few days before or right on cue with the projected four to five weeks he was scheduled to miss after suffering an injury to his left knee in the preseason against the New York Rangers on Oct. 6. 

“It’s kind of trial and error,” Del Zotto said. 

Above all else, though, the two were just happy to be back with their teammates. Del Zotto said that being around everyone really rejuvenated his spirits. 

“Just being back around the guys and having that team chemistry and camaraderie and being able to joke with the guys,” Del Zotto said, “it’s probably been the best thing for me.”

This past month has especially been hard on the two because of the timing and how last season ended for them. 

While there’s never an ideal time to suffer an injury, the pair saw training camp and the approaching start of the regular season in a different light than most of their teammates.

It was supposed to be their new start. Last season, Del Zotto missed the final few months, including the postseason, after ligament damage to his left wrist. He was having a strong preseason, arguably the top defenseman in camp at the time before suffering his setback.

“Being out so long last year and having to sit and watch playoffs than having six months of grueling rehab to get back into it … that made it sting that much more,” Del Zotto said. “That’s part of the game. It’s a contact sport. I signed up for this.”

The same can be said for Laughton, who experienced a scary injury in Game 4 against Washington after being dumped head first into the boards. 

“I was really excited to have camp and start the year here,” Laughton said. 

The two will be traveling to Montreal with the rest of the Flyers for Monday’s contest. They will each do the morning skate with another bag skate afterward.