Phillies (28-28) vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (34-21)
7:05 p.m. on CSN
The Phillies lost, 4-3, to the Dodgers on Monday night when Jonathan Papelbon was stricken of a strike in the ninth inning on a close pitch to Dee Gordon, who subsequently tripled and scored the game-winning run.
It was the Phils third loss in a row, dropping them back to .500 after reaching a season-high three games over last Friday.
The Phillies are now 5-8 in one-run games and 1-6 when tied heading into the ninth inning, leading Charlie Manuel to remark that his team is too often one hit away.
Maybe Cliff Lee can stop the losing streak by picking up his first win. Its got to happen at some point, right?
Lee is 0-2 with a 3.00 ERA this season. The Phillies run support for him has been comically bad. Edinson Volquez is the only pitcher in major league baseball who has received fewer runs of support than Lees 15. Its tough to win when your team averages 2.37 runs in your starts.
But this could be the night all of the bad luck ends. Lee dominated the Dodgers in two starts last season, striking out 20 men in 15 scoreless innings.
Lee is opposed by Dodgers righty Chad Billingsley (2-4, 4.09 ERA).
The Phils have tormented the bottom-heavy Billingsley, who including playoffs, is 1-4 with a 5.15 ERA against them.
Billingsley has struggled to go deep into games this season. In his last five starts hes gone four innings twice, five innings once and six innings twice. Overall, nine of his 11 starts have been six frames or shorter.
Billingsley throws a 91-93 mph fastball, a cutter, curveball and changeup. The cutter has been his best pitch throughout his career.
Note of interest
Righthanded Phillies relievers outside of Papelbon have a 6.06 ERA and a 1.65 WHIP in 65 13 innings this season. Someone needs to step up.
No Dodger has given Lee problems in his career, but hell need to somehow keep Gordon off the basepaths. He's an absolute pest when he reaches base, but Gordon is just a .167 hitter against lefties this season.
The Phils need Jimmy Rollins to get going. There is at least a sign that hes breaking out of what has been a season-long slump. Four of Rollins last six games have been multi-hit games. It isnt really resulting in runs, though. Rollins has scored a total of four runs in the Phils last 15 games.
It wouldnt be surprising to see Mike Fontenot in the lineup for the Phillies. Hes 7 for 20 off Billingsley and Manuel has been playing every juicy matchup of late.
Did you like what you saw from Vance Worley on Monday night?
E-mail Corey Seidman at firstname.lastname@example.org