What You Need To Know: Phils-Nats
Phillies (60-67) vs. Washington Nationals (77-49)
If the Phillies want to rekindle their playoff hopes for realsies, they have to start today.
And that has to start with Cliff Lee.
Simply, Lee (2-8, 3.78 ERA) needs to get his first win at home.
On the road, he's worked a 2-5 record (not by much, but better) and 3.24 ERA (better, better), while at Citizen's Bank Park, he's mustered only an 0-5 mark and 4.42 ERA. "Yuck," is right.
Lee was dynamite his last time out, striking out nine in 6.2 innings of two-run ball Tuesday against Cincinnati. Worth noting: Lee's strikeout-to-walk ratio in his last 28 days is 21.00.
The Phils lost that game, though (shocker, I know), making for a third straight team loss in one of his starts (1-4 when he starts in August) and his third no-decision this month, fifth in his last seven.
A year ago, Washington had Lee's number, running him for three home runs in three games for a 1-2 record and 3.38 ERA. But in his only start against Washington in 2012, Lee tossed seven scoreless in an 8-0 win at Nationals Park July 31.
Here's to hoping he gets that kind of run support today.
The Other Guy
Maybe the best part about this series is its authenticity, being that the Phillies will face two of the three arms responsible for the sport's best team ERA among starting pitchers in 2012 (3.24), Stephen Strasburg notwithstanding.
Jordan Zimmerman (9-7, 2.54 ERA) is withstanding Sunday.
Though he comes in pretty cold, the winner of just one of his last four starts (two no-decisions) with a 4.15 ERA in August, far and away his worst month this season...even though Washington is 3-1 in those games.
He's been mostly meh against the Phillies this season, punching a 1-1 record and 3.00 ERA in two starts. In them, he pulled a combined 14 runs of support.
More Mayberry, Please?
Well, at least the Mayberry he's been this week.
Saturday, Mayberry was good for three RBIs (his fifth three-plus RBI game in 2012) and, god forbid, a little power. He crushed a solo shot in the sixth, his 12th on the year and three shy of how he mashed a year ago.
Thursday, Mayberry slapped the game-winning RBI single in the 11th in what turned out to be the first win of this little run.
His past three games, Mayberry's gone 5-for-10 with four RBIs.
Overall, though, Mayberry has been pretty Mayberryey against Washington this year. His .222/.267/.370/.637 split is, well, what he's been this in 2012.
And precisely who he wasn't against the Nationals a year ago, when he stuck a .361/.439/.667/1.106 slash line over 36 at-bats.
Do My Job For Me
Save for the genesis of the "y" in Laynce Nix or Phifer stuck between "Cliff" and "Lee," if you could ask anyone any question, what would it be?