New York Mets (17-13) at Phillies (14-17)7:05 p.m. on CSN
The deflating losses continue to pile up. The Phillies blew another lead Tuesday and dropped their fourth in five games to fall to three games under .500 for the second time this season. Their previous low watermark was April 23 in Arizona, when they fell to 7-10 before winning three of four.
Tuesday nights blown 4-0 lead was the seventh time already this season the Phillies have a lost a game when they were either tied or ahead in the seventh inning. Win three of those seven games and youre 17-14 instead of 14-17. Win them all and youre 21-10, the same record the Phils had through this point last season.
Cliff Lee makes his triumphant return from the DL, and, boy, do the Phillies need big things from him Wednesday night.
Lee was 0-1 with a 1.96 ERA when he hit the shelf after his 10-inning, no-run outing in San Francisco on April 18. He ended up missing three starts.
Lee hasnt won since Sept. 26, 2011. In his three starts this season the Phillies have scored a total of three runs.
Hes certainly pitched well enough to win. Lee has 18 strikeouts to just two walks and 61 percent of his balls in play so far have been on the ground.
Itll be Lee vs. Gee. Dillon Gee gets the nod for the Mets and could prove to be a tough task. Hes 2-2 with a 4.50 ERA, but has impressive strikeout (29) and walk (8) numbers and three of his five outings have been very good.
Gee, who has a beard thick enough to shame Todd Heltons, throws a high-80s, low-90s fastball but uses his secondary pitches plenty. He throws a low-80s changeup about 25 percent of the time and also incorporates a curveball, slider and cutter.
Because of the effectiveness of his changeup, lefties have hit just .216 off Gee in his career. But he does struggle with command against opposite-handed hitters. Hes walked 51 lefties and struck out 50.
The Phillies are 1-4 against the Mets this season and have lost seven of their last nine games in the series. The Phils are 52-43 (.547) vs. New York since the start of 2007.
Lee is 2-1 with a 1.61 ERA in four starts against the Mets. Hes allowed less than a baserunner per inning and struck out five times as many Ropolitans as hes walked. No single Met has impressive numbers against Lee.
Gee has been awful in four appearances (three starts) against the Phils. Hes allowed 34 baserunners in 18 13 innings, a .297 opponents batting average and has a 7.85 ERA. Somehow, hes won two of three decisions.
Ryan Howard has done the most damage off Gee, but Jimmy Rollins is 3 for 3 with a walk. Shane Victorino is 2 for 7 with a triple and a walk.
In May, Hunter Pence has produced runs the way the Phillies need him to. He is 10 for 34 (.294) with four home runs, three doubles and 10 RBI in eight games. Thats a .735 slugging percentage, and its a major reason why the Phillies have scored the sixth most runs in baseball this month.
The bullpen has blown five saves on the season and been responsible for four of the last five Phillies losses.
- The first two games of the Mets series were hard to stomach but the Phillies can still avoid their first sweep of the season by winning Wednesday night.
- The Phils play five straight home games after the Mets leave town and have the pitching matchup advantage in every one. So a homestand that hasnt started well can still end with the Phillies back over .500.
- Lee likely wont throw more than 90 pitches, which means six innings unless hes absolutely cruising. That means the bullpen will be needed again and given a chance to redeem itself.
Do you think the Phillies need to trade for a reliever?
E-mail Corey Seidman at email@example.com