Phillies (32-37) vs. Rockies (25-41)7:05 p.m. on CSN
For one night on Tuesday, the Phillies set aside their struggles and played like a complete team (see story).
The real challenge is to do it again tonight.
The Phils took Game 1 of their series against the Colorado Rockies with a 7-2 rout. Cole Hamels pitched eight innings, John Mayberry and Carlos Ruiz each hit two-run home runs, and Jimmy Rollins reached base in all four of his plate appearances, scoring three runs.
But they have won two games in a row just once this month, and have not won more than two in a row since May 23-26. Wednesday night's game presents a golden opportunity to start a winning streak against a sinking team.
Joe Blanton (6-6, 4.93 ERA) finally snapped out of his funk in his last start, twirling a complete game in Minnesota last Thursday. He allowed one run on seven hits and struck out seven.
In the five starts prior to that effort, Blanton posted a 9.91 ERA, allowing 11 home runs in 26.1 innings.
The right-hander has made only two career starts against Colorado, in which he is 1-0 while giving up six earned runs in 10.1 innings.
Alex White (2-5, 5.56) starts for the Rockies, but he shouldnt last too long. Jim Tracys rotation is in such shambles (last in the majors in team ERA), he has elected to go with a four-man rotation with a 75-pitch limit on his starters.
White has not lasted beyond seven innings in a start this year. He has allowed at least four runs in four of his last five starts. The right-hander has never faced the Phillies during his two years in the MLB.
Rollins has looked like the J-Roll of old in June. He is hitting .320 with a .909 OPS this month, including a .433 average with six doubles and seven runs in his last seven games.
The shortstops season average has climbed from .240 to .261 during that stretch.
John Mayberry will start his third straight game, this time at first base. He has homered in three consecutive games and four of his last five to raise his season total to six.
In his career against the Rockies, Mayberry is 3 for 10 with two home runs. He gets a rare start against a righty tonight he is hitting just .213 with one home run against righties this season.
Ups and downs
The Phillies have won 23 of their past 28 meetings with Colorado, including 12 of their last 14 during the regular season at Citizens Bank Park.
Overall, the Rockies have lost 11 of their last 12. Tuesdays lost dropped their June record to 4-12, below the Phillies June record of 5-12.
Colorado leftfielder Carlos Gonzalez is a .452 lifetime hitter against the Phillies, including the 2009 Division Series. He is 4 for 5 off of Blanton, and could return after missing the past two games with a strained left knee.
Can a hot Jimmy Rollins carry the Phillies lineup until Chase Utley and Ryan Howard return?