Cliff Lee is 4-0 this season when he takes the mound during a Phillies losing streak. He's held his opponents scoreless in 27 of his last 29 innings. He's in cruise control right now, but it's been a while since he pitched well against an AL team.
In his last six interleague starts with the Phillies, Lee has a 6.47 ERA and the Phils are 0-6. In his career at Fenway Park, he's allowed 18 doubles and two homers in five starts.
Fenway has just been an awful place for the Phils to play. Since 2004 the Red Sox have outscored the Phillies in Boston 83-37. They've scored 82 earned runs in 86 1/3 innings, meaning Phillies pitchers have an 8.55 ERA there since 2004.
David Ortiz kills the Phils every time. In those 10 games, he's hit .381/.480/.762 with seven doubles, three homers, 12 RBI and 13 runs.
The Phillies take on Ryan Dempster (2-5, 4.69), who's allowed 31 baserunners in his last 12.2 innings. It's the 25th time the Phils will face Dempster. Recently, they've hit him. He has a 6.91 ERA in his last five starts vs. the Phillies, with 14 walks in 28.2 IP.
But who is to say whether these Phillies hit Dempster. They barely hit Alfredo Aceves, who has been awful for two straight seasons. Dempster is struggling, but he's still capable of stifling hitters with his splitter. As of May 17, his splitter was inducing a league-leading 55% whiff rate.
It'll be interesting to see what Charlie Manuel does with tonight's lineup. Does he leave it alone? Give a slumping Michael Young the day off? Move Domonic Brown up?
Young could use a blow. He's 0-for-his-last-21 and has seen his batting average drop from .353 to .260 in less than a month.
Through his first 25 games, Young had 30 hits, a .353 BA and an .850 OPS. In the 25 games since, he has 15 hits, a .170 BA and a .541 OPS.
Brown, meanwhile, continues to drive the ball and produce runs. He leads the Phillies with 10 homers and 29 RBIs and is toward the top in numerous important categories.
Brown's second in the NL in lefty-vs.-lefty OPS, at .985. Only Carlos Gonzalez has been better. He's second in the majors in lefty-on-lefty homers, with four. Only Chris Davis has more. And Brown has as many extra-base hits this month as Michael and Delmon Young combined.
Yeah, these last few weeks have been disappointing. But Brown has progressed exactly the way the Phillies have needed. Even if he hasn't walked once this month, you'll take it because of the power. Brown has been way more aggressive this May than in any previous month of his career, and within the context of this team he means more as a run producer than as a table-setter for the bottom-third of the Phils' lineup.
1) Ben Revere, CF
2) Michael Young, 3B
3) Jimmy Rollins, SS
4) Ryan Howard, 1B
5) Delmon Young, DH
6) Domonic Brown, LF
7) John Mayberry, RF
8) Freddy Galvis, 2B
9) Erik Kratz, C
Red Sox lineup
1) Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
2) Jonny Gomes, LF
3) Dustin Pedroia, 2B
4) David Ortiz, DH
5) Mike Napoli, 1B
6) Daniel Nava, RF
7) David Ross, C
8) Stephen Drew, SS
9) Jose Iglesias, 3B