Jerome Williams looks to give Phils series lead over Bucs


Aug 24, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Jerome Williams (31) throws a pitch in the fifth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies defeated the Cardinals, 7-1. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Jerome Williams has been a pleasant surprise for the Philadelphia Phillies, winning three of his first five starts with the club and Wednesday he has a chance to give them a 2-1 series lead over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

In 15 innings at Citizens Bank Park this season, Williams has only surrendered eight hits and two earned runs.  In five career starts against the Pirates, Williams is 1-3 with a 3.90 ERA.  His most recent outing against Pittsburgh came in 2013 when he was a member of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.  Both Pedro Alvarez and Andrew McCutchen have hit solo home runs off the right-hander.

Vance Worley will start against the Phillies, the team that drafted him.  He, like Williams, was once a surprise for the Phillies when he won 11 games in 2011.  Worley’s 1.1 innings pitched in the 2011 National League Division Series, however, were far from a high point in his Phillies career that spanned from 2010-2012.

In his career at Citizens Bank Park, Worley is 9-7 with a 3.69 ERA.  The only player on the current Phillies’ roster he has ever faced is Marlon Byrd who is 2-for-4 with a pair of runs driven in against him.

The National League batting title race is particularly interesting in this series given that both lead-off hitters rank first and third as the season is in the home stretch.  The Pirates’ Josh Harrison is currently leading with a .316 average and Ben Revere who fell to .310 after back-to-back hitless nights.

Worley will look to keep Revere hitless, the player he and fellow pitcher Trevor May were traded to the Minnesota Twins for in December of 2012.

After hitting a go-ahead single in the seventh inning Tuesday night, Maikel Franco is not in Wednesday’s lineup.  Cody Asche will instead play third and bat sixth.

Pirates lineup:

Harrison 3B

Marte LF

McCutchen CF

Walker 2B

Martin C

Snider RF

Sanchez 1B

Mercer SS

Worley P

Phillies lineup:

Revere CF

Sizemore RF

Utley 2B

Howard 1B

Brown LF

Asche 3B

Nieves C

Galvis SS

Williams P