Phils send struggling Lee to mound against Nats


Mar 31, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Cliff Lee throws the ball in the third inning of an opening day baseball game against the Texas Rangers at Global Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

In two starts off the disabled list Cliff Lee is struggling, allowing nine earned runs on 21 hits in just 10.2 innings.

His health and command are both in question, therefore, so is his trade value.  There’s talk he could be claimed off waivers in August.  The Washington Nationals (58-47) would be just fine with Lee of the past couple games rather than Lee of the past.  They currently sit atop the National League East, while the Phillies are even further in the basement after dropping two of three against the Mets.

The Nationals send Gio Gonzalez to the mound. Gonzalez lost to the Phillies on May 4th, but to no fault of his own.  The southpaw went 7.1 innings, allowing a run and only giving up four hits in a 1-0 Nationals loss.  Gonzalez joined the Nationals in 2012 and is 5-3 against the Phillies in just nine starts.

Nats’ rightfielder Jayson Werth has a double, triple and two home runs against Lee with a .367 batting average.  He missed Tuesday’s game with an ankle injury, but it appears to be doing much better with him hitting third on Thursday.

The Phillies are 4-6 in their last ten games while the Nationals are 6-4 with a 30-20 record at home.

There won’t be any new players in the game for Philadelphia as they failed to make a trade Thursday before the 4 pm ET non-waiver trade deadline.

The Nationals on Thursday traded Zach Walters to the Cleveland Indians for infielder Asdrubal Cabrera.

Starting Lineups 7/31:


Ben Revere CF, Jimmy Rollins SS, Chase Utley 2B, Marlon Byrd RF, Carlos Ruiz C, Grady Sizemore LF, Darin Ruf 1B, Andres Blanco 3B, Cliff Lee P


Denard Span CF, Anthony Rendon 3B, Jayson Werth RF, Wilson Ramos C, Ian Desmond SS, Bryce Harper LF, Kevin Frandsen 1B, Danny Espinosa 2B, Gio Gonzalez P