The Philadelphia Phillies’ revamped rotation is enjoying an outstanding stretch. Opposing pitchers haven’t been faring nearly as well.
With the support of a surging lineup, the Phillies look to continue their success on the mound as they try for a three-game sweep of the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday night.
Led by the acquisition of Cliff Lee(notes) from Cleveland on July 29, Philadelphia’s pitching has become one of the team’s strengths after a difficult start. The Phillies (68-49) have a 1.18 ERA in their last six contests, including a complete game from Lee in this series’ middle game.
Lee carried a no-hit bid into the sixth inning Wednesday night and finished with a two-hitter in Philadelphia’s 8-1 win over Arizona (54-67). It was the seventh win in eight games for the NL East-leading Phillies.
The right-hander did not receive a decision in his last outing, giving up two runs in seven innings of Philadelphia’s 3-2 victory over Atlanta on Friday.
Blanton was terrible in his only start against Arizona. He lasted three innings, surrendering eight runs and seven hits for Oakland in an 11-1 loss June 18, 2008.
That performance from the Diamondbacks’ lineup is comparable to the production the Phillies have been getting from their hitters.
Philadelphia, which leads the NL with 168 homers, has hit 19 in its last nine games. Jayson Werth(notes) hit two solo homers, Ryan Howard(notes) added a three-run shot and Chase Utley(notes) also connected in the Phillies’ latest effort.
“This is a potent offense,” Lee said. “There’s no denying that. Any time you get a four, five-run lead, it’s pretty good.”
Howard has hit five homers while driving in 12 runs in his last six games. Werth, meanwhile, has four home runs and five RBIs in his past four contests.
Ibanez, though, is hitting .239 with five homers and 19 RBIs in 31 games since coming off the disabled list July 10. The veteran left fielder, who was nursing a groin strain, was batting .312 with 22 homers and 59 RBIs prior to the injury.
The left-hander walked four and gave up three runs in six innings as Arizona beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-3 in 10 innings on Saturday.
Davis is 2-1 with a 3.13 ERA in seven starts versus the Phillies.
With Arizona struggling at the plate, Davis may not get much run support. The Diamondbacks, losers of six straight on the road and four in a row overall, have scored one run in each of this series’ first two games.
Diamondbacks slugger Mark Reynolds(notes) is batting .143 in his last eight games, recording 17 of his major league-leading 168 strikeouts during that stretch. He’s hitting .222 in 15 games versus the Phillies.