Coming off a blown lead late by the bullpen the Philadelphia Phillies will turn to Cliff Lee to stop the bleeding and hopefully split this four game series with the Pittsburgh Pirates. The 34-year-old left hander is off to a 2-1 start with a 2.83 ERA but struggled in his last start with command against the St. Louis Cardinals. James McDonald will take the bump for the Pirates today at 1:05 and the 28 year old right hander is 2-2 this season with a 4.12 ERA. He’s had trouble with his command walking 12 in 19.2 innings pitched so it might be prudent for the Phillies to take a patient approach at the plate today.
Both pitchers are familiar with the other team. McDonald lifetime against the Phillies is 1-2 with a 5.73 ERA and has allowed 5 home runs in his career against the Phillies. Lifetime at Citizens Bank Park in 4 games he’s 1-1 with a 6.75 ERA and has allowed 4 home runs. In 3 starts against the Pirates Lee is 1-0 with a 3.05 ERA. Hes’s allowed one home run against the team and that was hit by Pedro Alvarez in 2011 at Citizens Bank Park. McDonald has allowed a home run to Ryan Howard & Jimmy Rollins in the same game on July 30, 2011 (same game Lee gave up the home run to Alvarez), Hunter Pence, Chase Utley & Carlos Ruiz all in 2012. Lee won the only career head to head match-up between the two on that day in July 7-4. Lee struck out 11 in 7.1 IP and Antonio Bastardo got the hold and Ryan Madson the save. McDonald lasted 5.
Here are the lineups for the two team with career hitting statistics against each pitcher:
- Starling Marte LF (never faced Lee lifetime)
- Brandon Inge 2B (.372 with 3 HRs)
- Andrew McCutchen CF (.111 with 3 Ks)
- Gaby Sanchez 1B (.125 with 2 BBs)
- Michael McKenry C (0-3)
- Pedro Alvarez 3B (1-2 with 1 HR & 2 RBIs)
- Jose Tabata RF (1-3)
- Clint Barmes SS (0-11)
- James McDonald P (0-2 with 1 K)
Brandon Inge being in the lineup is not surprising considering his lifetime numbers against Lee. It will be the first time since 2010 the two have faced at the plate though. Inge hasn’t played second base since April 24th, 2012 for Detroit. That was the last game he played for the team as well. Surprising they would have Barmes play and not find a way to put Neil Walker in the lineup as he’s a career 3-5 against Lee. John McDonald lifetime is 3-11 against Lee. McCutchen as of late hasn’t had a hit in his last 14 at-bats.
- Jimmy Rollins SS (.273 with 1 HR)
- Kevin Frandsen 3B (never faced McDonald lifetime)
- Chase Utley 2B (.571 with 1 HR)
- Ryan Howard 1B (3-5 with 1 HR & 3 RBIs)
- Laynce Nix RF (0-3 with 2 Ks)
- Domonic Brown LF (1-2 with 1 K)
- Ezequiel Carrera CF (never faced McDonald lifetiem)
- Erik Kratz C (never faced McDonald lifetime)
- Cliff Lee P (2-4 with 2 Ks)
Ben Revere will be rested as he’s been struggling as of late and has a sore quad. Carrera will take his spot in the outfield. Mayberry also rests as Nix will face the right hander. Young saw his 14 game hitting streak come to an end last night and will sit. Off the bench Humberto Quintero is 0-9 with 3 strikeouts against McDonald lifetime and Freddy Galvis is 0-1 with a walk against him. Cliff Lee surprisingly (or maybe not) is 2-4 lifetime against McDonald but the two outs are strikeouts.
Phillies need this win as after this game they’re off to New York to take on the New York Mets.Tags: Antonio Bastardo, Ben Revere, Carlos Ruiz, Chase Utley, Cliff Lee, Hunter Pence, James McDonald, Jimmy Rollins, MLB, Pedro Alvarez, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, preview, Ryan Howard