Phillies (7-9) at Arizona Diamondbacks (8-8)9:40 p.m. on TCN
The Phillies limp into Arizona after losing the final two games of a winnable series in San Diego. Since starting 1-1, the Phillies alternated back-to-back losses and wins three times, then lost their last two. Based on the pattern, the Phils should win the next two games against the Diamondbacks.
If theres a place to hit, its Chase Field. Since 2008, the stadium in Phoenix has seen 13 percent more runs than the league average ballpark and seven percent more homers. It ranks four spots ahead of Citizens Bank Park in overall park factor and is labeled as an extreme hitter's park by ParkFactors.com.
In a battle of spot starters, Kyle Kendrick (0-0, 1.93) takes on Wade Miley (1-0, 3.12).
Kendrick last pitched in relief six days ago in San Francisco. Hes allowed seven baserunners in 4 23 innings but just one earned run.
Miley is a 25-year-old lefty out of Southeastern Louisiana. He throws a 90-mile-per-hour fastball and uses his slider against lefties and a changeup vs. righties. He very rarely throws a curveball. Miley made seven starts for the Dbacks last season and struggled with control (18 BB in 40 IP) and keeping the ball in the yard (six home runs allowed).
The Phillies, in ugly fashion, lost games at San Diego Saturday and Sunday after winning 13 straight at PETCO Park. Through the first seven games of the 10-game west coast road trip, the Phils are 3-4. Theyve hit .212, gone 12 for 60 with runners in scoring position and have left exactly 50 men on base.
The Dbacks lost five straight before beating the Braves Sunday. During the losing streak to Pittsburgh and Atlanta, Arizona was outscored 29-10.
The Phillies are 49-48 all-time against the Diamondbacks and 16-9 since 2008. But of those 16 wins, 10 came at home. The Phils are 6-7 at Chase Field the last four seasons and lost the road series to Arizona in 2010 and 2011.
Kendrick has made three appearances and two starts against Arizona over the last three seasons. He has no decisions and a 4.05 ERA that should be higher based on his peripheral numbers. Kendrick walked seven Diamondbacks in those 13.1 innings and was taken deep three times.
Miley, meanwhile, has never faced the Phillies. Only Ty Wigginton (1 for 6) has seen him.
Juan Pierre had three hits Sunday to raise his batting average to .326. It was the 162nd three-hit game of Pierres career, a full seasons worth.
Take your pick. Hunter Pence is hitless in his last 15 at-bats and is now down to .258. Shane Victorino was 0 for 8 in the final two games in San Diego. John Mayberry pinch-hit on Sunday and struck out on three pitches. Mayberry is batting .175 with no walks and 13 strikeouts, and during his 0 for 12 skid has left a dozen men on base.
It will be interesting to see how the Phillies respond to Charlie Manuels semi-blow up after the final Padres game. Will it have any effect on the bats, or is this collection of players incapable of scoring four runs per game?
The Phillies let Padres righty Anthony Bass completely off the hook on Sunday. Bass walked five batters, had trouble throwing strikes even to Joe Blanton, but escaped with just one unearned run on his record. Jim Thome was signed to feast on young righties like Bass, and in his first two at-bats he struck out swinging at a 90 mile per hour fastball and looking at another one.
Miley is cut from the same cloth as Bass a mediocre youngster with a nondescript repertoire. Its only April, and this could just be a prolonged team-wide cold spell, but failing to capitalize against two of these pitchers in a row would tell us more about the Phillies offense than any advanced metric.
What has frustrated you the most through 16 games?
E-mail Corey Seidman at email@example.com