Lee will try to end his winless stretch when he takes the mound opposite Nolasco in the conclusion of this three-game series Wednesday night.
Lee (2-3, 3.69 ERA) is 0-2 with a 3.33 ERA in four starts since tossing a three-hitter in a 4-0 win at Washington on April 14. The left-hander has been backed by three total runs since that victory, getting none in his last three outings.
That trend continued with Friday’s 5-0 loss to Atlanta. Lee allowed three runs in seven innings while striking out a career-high 16, but was outpitched by Derek Lowe(notes), who carried a no-hitter into the seventh as the Phillies (23-12) mustered just two hits in the defeat.
“Whatever,” Lee told the team’s official website. “I don’t have much control over that. Obviously, I do hit, but I don’t have a hit all year, either. My job is to keep the other team from scoring. Other than my one at-bat every nine, I don’t have much of a factor in scoring runs. I’m not too concerned about that. I’m more concerned about preparing to get the other team’s hitters out. That’s where my focus is going to stay.”
Philadelphia is hitting .226 with 12 runs over the last five games, and was held to six hits in a 2-1 loss at Florida (21-14) on Tuesday after winning the series opener 6-4 the previous night.
The Phillies have still won 11 of their last 14 against the Marlins, who are looking to take their first series from their NL East rivals since winning two of three in Philadelphia from April 16-18, 2010.
“It’s big because we can win the series,” said Josh Johnson(notes), who got a no-decision Tuesday in a pitchers’ duel with Roy Halladay(notes). “It’s not any bigger than that. We’re not going to say it’s stepping-stone to anything.”
Sending Nolasco (3-0, 3.23) to the mound may stifle the Phillies’ bats again.
The right-hander is 5-1 with a 2.92 ERA over his last seven starts against Philadelphia, limiting the lineup to a .210 average. He was superb in the most recent meeting, throwing a five-hitter in a 5-1 win April 17, 2010.
Like Lee, Nolasco pitched well but didn’t get much help in his latest outing Friday, giving up two runs with a season-high 11 strikeouts in seven innings of a 3-2, 10-inning loss to the Nationals.
Chris Coghlan(notes) is providing some punch at the plate for the Marlins in this series, collecting five hits with one double and two RBIs. The center fielder had been 5 for 36 (.139) over his previous nine games.
Coghlan owns a .370 average in 26 meetings with the Phillies.
Raul Ibanez(notes) has been on a tear for Philadelphia, going 14 for 30 (.467) with four doubles, two homers and five RBIs over his last eight games, with his season average jumping 77 points to .231.
He’s managed two hits in each of the past three contests, and is hitting .467 with 14 RBIs in his last 16 games against Florida.