The team that flat-out embarrassed the Phillies in Cleveland makes a visit to Citizens Bank Park.
Two weeks ago, the Indians put on a full demolition of the Phillies in a short two-game series. Now, Charlie Manuel’s team has a chance to avenge those defeats with a pair of games on its own turf.
That opportunity begins tonight as the rookie Jonathan Pettibone (2-0, 3.63) looks to continue his solid work for the Phillies when he opposes the Indians’ Scott Kazmir (2-1, 4.87).
So, just how bad was the Phillies’ trip to Cleveland? Here are a few nuggets from the two losses:
• Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee compiled an 11.74 ERA
• The Indians’ first-inning output (four runs) of Game 1 outscored the Phillies’ combined output (two runs) in both games
• Cleveland outscored the Phillies, 20-2.
• The Phillies hit .136 (8 for 59) in the series
It wasn’t an anomaly for the Indians, either. Dating back to April 28, Cleveland (21-16) is 13-3 in its last 16 games. Among all of baseball, the Indians’ offense ranks in the top 10 in runs, home runs, RBIs, batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage.
Cleveland will also have Michael Bourn and Nick Swisher back, two offseason acquisitions that were unavailable when these two teams first met.
On the other hand, the Phillies (18-21) are coming off a winning road trip (4-3) against the two best teams in the NL West (Giants, Diamondbacks).
To start their five-game homestand, they’ll give the ball to Pettibone, who in all four of his starts has gone five or more innings and has given up three or fewer runs. The Phillies have also won three of the four games Pettibone has taken the mound. The Indians, though, may be his toughest test yet as a big-league pitcher.
The Phillies will see Kazmir for the first time since the 2008 World Series. The former 15th overall pick of the 2002 draft has fallen off a bit, but he’s trying to revive his career with the Indians.
After posting an 8.64 ERA in his first two starts, Kazmir has answered with two terrific outings. In his last two starts — both wins — the 29-year-old lefty has put up this line: 12 IP, 3 ER, 17 K, 1 BB.
Chase Utley and Ben Revere get the night off against the left-handed Kazmir. Here are the lineups:
1. Jimmy Rollins, SS
2. Kevin Frandsen, 2B
3. Michael Young, 3B
4. Ryan Howard, 1B
5. Delmon Young, RF
6. Domonic Brown, LF
7. Carlos Ruiz, C
8. John Mayberry, CF
9. Jonathan Pettibone, P
1. Michael Bourn, CF
2. Jason Kipnis, 2B
3. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
4. Nick Swisher, 1B
5. Carlos Santana, C
6. Mark Reynolds, 3B
7. Michael Brantley, LF
8. Drew Stubbs, RF
9. Scott Kazmir, P