Phillies (1-1) vs. Pirates (1-1) 1:35 p.m. on PHL17
Vance Worley takes the hill for the Phillies in the first start of his sophomore season. Worley was 11-3 with 3.01 ERA in 2011, finishing third in NL Rookie of the Year voting. He struck out 8.1 batters per nine innings, the 30th best mark in baseball and fifth best among starting pitchers age 23 or younger.
Opposing the Phils is James McDonald, the Pirates right-hander who started Tuesdays spring training finale at Citizens Bank Park. In that game, McDonald made 54 pitches and allowed one run on two hits over three innings. He was traded to the Pirates from the Dodgers at the 2010 trade deadline for reliever Octavio Dotel. Last season, McDonald, 27, went 9-9 with a 4.21 ERA in 171 innings. High hit and walk totals resulted in an unsightly 1.49 WHIP.
The Phillies won Game 1 of the series, 1-0, and the Pirates came back Saturday to win, 2-1, in 10 innings. The Phillies offense mustered just four hits after the first inning.
The Pirates ended the Phillies hopes for their first ever sweep at PNC Park in Saturdays win. The Phils are 25-19 against Pittsburgh since Charlie Manuel took over in 2005, but are just 4-8 in their last 12 trips to the Steel City.
Nobody, besides Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee. No Phillie other than Carlos Ruiz is batting higher than .286, which means no other Phillie has more than two hits.
Both offenses. The Phillies have had a runner in scoring position with less than two outs in just five of 19 innings this season. The teams have combined for four runs in two games.
Can the Phillies offense break out in the series finale? Last year, the Phils won their first four series of the season to jump out to a 9-3 record.
Will we continue to see such an emphasis on small ball? Jimmy Rollins sacrificed out of the three-hole in the first inning Saturday and late in the game, Laynce Nix tried to do the same.
Will Freddy Galvis pick up his first major-league hit in his first major-league series? Galvis has actually hit several balls hard -- one was a line shot to deep center field on Saturday -- but he is 0 for 8 with two strikeouts and hasnt yet reached base.
Will John Mayberry, if he starts, be more aggressive at the plate? In his first and third plate appearances Saturday, Mayberry took 90 mile per hour first-pitch fastballs right down the middle.
If Kyle Kendrick enters Sundays game, will he reduce his 100 percent line drive rate?
Would you rather the Phillies continue to bunt to manufacture a run, or save as many outs as possible for a struggling offense?
E-mail Corey Seidman at email@example.com.