Series Preview: Rockies at Phillies

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Returning home from a 3-7 road-trip after having been swept in a 3-game series against the New York Mets, the Phillies (19-30) try to turn things around against the Colorado Rockies (19-26) as the club begins a 9-game home stand at Citizens Bank Park.

Colorado is also having a poor season, and sits 8.5 games behind the LA Dodgers out in the NL West. The Rox are in last place, but have been playing fairly well lately, winning 4 of their last 5.

More from That Balls Outta Here

The Rockies bring a wealth of talented hitters with them to Philadelphia. These include 2nd baseman DJ LeMahieu (.338/.391/.432, 2 HR, 23 RBI), catcher Nick Hundley (.317/.356/.504, 5 HR, 16 RBI), and 3rd baseman Nolan Arenado (.287/.331/.549, 10 HR, 31 RBI). Worth noting is that star outfielder Carlos Gonzalez (.208/.287/.322, 4 HR, 13 RBI) continues to struggle.

The Phillies own offensive attack has been led by shortstop Freddy Galvis (.303/.358/.352, 1 HR, 12 RBI, 5 SB), outfielder Ben Revere (.269/.310/.349, 22 R, 15 RBI, 9 SB), and 1st baseman Ryan Howard (.256/.298/.519, 10 HR, 24 RBI), who we highlighted this week in pieces by Tyler DiSalle and our TBOH editor Matt Veasey.

PITCHING MATCHUPS:

Cole Hamels (5-3, 2.98 ERA) v. Chad Bettis (1-0, 4.19 ERA) –  Hamels has been in top form for quite a while now. He continued to show his dominance last Saturday against a very strong Nationals squad (8 IP, 1 ER, 5 H, 1 BB, 5 SO). Hamels looks to continue cruising his way through the league with hopes of joining a contender via trade at some point in the season. Bettis is also finding his stride, and the youngster improves with each start. In a blowout of the Giants, he put up his best game of the season (8.1 IP, 2 ER, 6 H, 2 BB, 7 SO). He said afterward, “This is the best I’ve felt all year for sure… We tweaked a couple of more mechanics between the last start and this one, and it’s really good to see it come to fruition.” If he keeps up his improvement, this matchup may actually prove to be good one.

Aaron Harang (4-4, 1.93 ERA) v. Jorge De La Rosa (1-2, 6.51 ERA) – Harang, often pitching like the ace of the staff this season, was pretty darn good in Washington last weekend (6 IP, 2 ER, 7 H, 2 BB, 2 SO). He is thoroughly dismantling most teams that step in his way. Harang is looking for a similar start to the one he provided the team in Colorado a week and a half ago, when he didn’t relinquish any earned runs. Dealing with a cut on his hand, De La Rosa was scratched from an expected start on Tuesday. De La Rosa was actually dealing with this injury when he last pitched, which happened to be against the Phillies. He had an okay outing considering his situation (4.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 H, 3 BB, 5 SO). De La Rosa comes into this game hoping to prove he is well on his way to a healthy recovery.

Jerome Williams (3-4, 5.33 ERA) v. Eddie Butler (2-5, 4.60 ERA) – The Phillies are skipping Severino Gonzalez’s start in the rotation, so Williams will go on Sunday instead. Williams had been in the midst of a couple bad starts before putting up a solid one against the Mets early this week (6 IP, 3 ER, 5 H, 4 BB, 4 SO). Williams is hoping that performance was the start of his path back to decency, and will attempt to mimic it on Sunday afternoon. After dealing with struggles of his own, Butler finally put together a decent start the other night (6 IP, 4 ER, 9 H, 2 BB, 1 SO). This outing matched his longest of the season. Butler is looking to build off a little success and at least go fairly deep into this game.

SERIES KEYS:

Ben Revere must continue to be a catalyst atop the lineup – The subject of recent trade rumors, Revere has started to come on of late. He’s gotten two hits in each of his last two games, and has hit .333 over his last seven. If the Phils want to score runs this series, they will need their leadoff man to continue to hit and get on base. Should he do so, it would give the offense a significant boost. Not to mention, continued success this season could improve his trade value as the Phillies are trying to be big sellers.

Home Sweet Home – I’ve mentioned this before but the Phillies aren’t all that bad at home this season (12-10 at home, 7-20 on the road). When they left the cozy confines of the Bank ten games ago, they were one of the hottest teams in the league and riding 5-game win streak. The difference between their home and away records is quite substantial, especially considering almost two months of the season are already in the books. Perhaps the Fightin’ Phils will be able to rekindle some of that magic of the streak now that they are back in Philadelphia.

BROADCAST INFORMATION:

Game 1: Friday, 7:05 PM, TV: NBC10, Radio: 1210FM, 94 AM, 1480AM (Spanish Language)

Game 2: Saturday, 3:05 PM, TV: CSN, Radio: 1210FM, 94 AM, 1480AM (Spanish Language)

Game 3: Sunday, 1:35 PM, TV: CSN, Radio: 1210FM, 94 AM, 1480AM (Spanish Language)


NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE forecast for Citizens Bank Park in South Philly this weekend

Today

Mostly sunny, with a high near 85. Southeast wind around 8 mph.

Tonight

Partly cloudy, with a low around 66. South wind 8 to 10 mph.

Saturday

A chance of showers and thunderstorms after 2pm. Mostly sunny, with a high near 86. South wind 7 to 14 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%. New rainfall amounts of less than a tenth of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.

Saturday Night

A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 67. South wind 8 to 11 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%. New rainfall amounts of less than a tenth of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.

Sunday – WEATHER ALERT

Showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 80. Southwest wind 5 to 8 mph becoming light and variable in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New rainfall amounts between a half and three quarters of an inch possible.

Sunday Night

Showers likely. Cloudy, with a low around 58. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New rainfall amounts between a half and three quarters of an inch possible.


INJURY REPORTS

ROCKIESDateStatusDue BackInjuryNotes
Chatwood, Tyler (P)04/0560-day DLPossibly 2015Recovering from July 2014 Tommy John surgeryPlaced on 60-day DL on March 1.
Culberson, Charlie (3B)04/2660-day DLTBDLumbar disc injuryTransferred to 60-day DL on April 12.
De La Rosa, Jorge (P)05/26Any dayPossibly May 30Cut on left middle fingerScratched from May 26 scheduled start.
Dickerson, Corey (LF)05/1915-day DLPossibly early JunePlantar fasciitis in left footPlaced on 15-day DL on May 19.
Hawkins, LaTroy (P)05/2715-day DLPossibly JuneRight biceps tendinitisPlaced on 15-day DL on April 22; threw bullpen session May 26.
Lyles, Jordan (P)05/27Any dayPossibly May 31Sprained toe on left footExited game early May 23; expected to start May 31 as of May 27 update.
Morneau, Justin (1B)05/217-day DLTBDCervical strain and concussion symptomsPlaced on 7-day DL retroactive to May 15; not expected to return when eligible as of May 21 update.
Ottavino, Adam (P)05/07Out for Season2016Recovering from May 2015 Tommy John surgeryUnderwent Tommy John surgery May 7.
Roberts, Ken (P)05/2315-day DLTBDLeft elbow inflammationPlaced on 15-day DL on May 23.

PHILLIESDateStatusDue BackInjuryNotes
Billingsley, Chad (P)05/1815-day DLPossibly JulyGrade 2 right lat strainPlaced on the 15-day DL May 18 retroactive to May 16.
Hollands, Mario (P)04/20Out for Season2016Recovering from April 2015 Tommy John surgeryUnderwent Tommy John surgery April 8.
Lee, Cliff (P)04/0560-day DLPossibly 2015Left common flexor tendon tearShut down from throwing, placed on 60-day DL on March 16.
Pettibone, Jonathan (P)05/0960-day DLTBDRecovering from June 2014 right elbow surgeryTransferred to 60-day DL on April 28.
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