John Mayberry rewarded Charlie Manuel’s hunch Tuesday night by going 3-for-4 out of the eight-hole with a two-run double, an RBI single and a two-out single that turned the lineup over.
Manuel rewarded Mayberry with another day in center field.
Mayberry is back in the same spot for today’s 1:05 p.m. series finale with the Indians. Ben Revere is on the bench again. It makes sense to give Mayberry the opportunity at the bottom of the order, because previous Phillies eighth batters haven't been producing much at all. Entering last night's game, they had a .238 on-base percentage with two outs in an inning, meaning they were failing to turn the lineup over 76 percent of the time. Far too many innings a pitcher has led off.
The rest of the batting order is pretty standard, with the only difference from Tuesday’s lineup being Chase Utley back in the two-hole instead of Kevin Frandsen, who on Tuesday became the 100th player in MLB history to homer and be hit by two pitches in a game.
Cole Hamels (1-5, 4.18) opposes Indians right-hander Corey Kluber (2-2, 5.64). Kluber is a 6-foot-4 fastball-cutter guy with a .311 opponents’ batting average. In two starts in May he’s allowed 11 runs and 22 baserunners in 10 1/3 innings. He's a tall right-hander with a 92 mph fastball. Nothing special.
The only Phillie who’s ever seen Kluber is the slumping Delmon Young, who has three hits in six at-bats. Young homered and got on base three times in his Phillies debut, but has hit .176/.250/.265 in 11 games since.
The best sign out of Tuesday's game was Domonic Brown's continued offensive progression. He homered off a lefty for the third time this season. Brown is hitting .314 with a .600 slugging percentage off southpaws in 2013.
We also saw the early stages of Justin De Fratus' grooming for a late-inning role. With Mike Adams missing another game with back spasms, De Fratus got the call over Phillippe Aumont and Chad Durbin. Tells you all you need to know about how the Phillies feel about those three relievers.
Maybe the Phillies can actually score for Hamels today. He has a 2.41 ERA and .186 opponents' batting average over his last six starts, but the Phillies have scored four runs in his 41 innings and gone 1-5.
It appears the Phillies have signed Carlos Zambrano to a minor-league deal. First reported by Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Zambrano hasn't thrown enough strikes to be effective since 2010. But it's just a minor-league deal, and starting pitching depth is something the Phillies lack. Low-risk signing.
He can hit, too, which is a plus.
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