Cliff Lee (4-7, 3.52 ERA)
Clifton Phifer Lee is on fire. Wins have been hard to come by for Lee this year, but he’s won his last two starts and could make it a third against the Rockies. There’s only a few starts left, but Lee has a chance to get back to .500, much like the team. Their recent success is directly connected to Lee’s hot streak. When he goes the team follows. Where have you been all year Clifton?
Jeff Francis (5-4, 5.73)
Hey, remember when Jeff Francis beat the Phillies in the 2007 NLDS? He’s never been dominating, but he certainly broke the hearts of all Phils fans that night. Five years later Francis is sporting an ERA close to 6.00 and a WHIP of 1.50. Struggling doesn’t begin to describe his year in the mile high city, but with the Rockies crazy 75 pitch limit can any pitcher’s stats be trusted? One thing is for sure, he won’t be pitching a complete game Friday night.
Who owns Cliff Lee? Step on up Carlos Gonzalez, you’ve just won the right to make Cliff Lee look silly on the mound. Cargo is hitting .500 against Lee, bucking the lefty lefty trend that favors pitchers. He’s enjoying another fine year at the plate (.310/.381/.520) so don’t expect him to let up with Lee on the hill.
The Phillies lineup should get a jump start from the top of their order against Francis. Juan Pierre and Jimmy Rollins are hitting over .400, while Rollins has Jeff in his book.
Chase and Ryan haven’t put up anything special against Francis, although Utley has homered off of him.
Moral of the story: With the Rockies and Phillies streaking in different directions, Cliff Lee and the boys should roll to another victory.