That also means that Ryan Howard will be sitting out for the second straight game against a lefty starter, the design, of course, to give the slugger a chance to clear his head.
So with Howard out, Dom Brown batted cleanup on Friday night and came through with a hit, a walk, two runs and two RBIs. With red-hot Delmon Young offering protection behind Brown in the lineup, the Dodgers were better off taking their chances against the Phils' cleanup hitter.
Delmon Young hot? Believe it. Young went 3 for 6 and knocked in six runs with Howard on the bench and has nine hits in his last 14 at bats (.643) with two doubles, a home run and eight RBIs. In three days, Young’s batting average has ballooned from .222 to .259.
And though Young, historically, is a slow starter, the right fielder is batting .306 with runners in scoring position and .429 with runners in scoring position and two outs this season.
Delmon Young? How about Michael Young and Chase Utley, the two Southern California boys at the top of the batting order? The pair went 6 for 9 with six runs a homer and a double on Friday night while Northern Californian, Jimmy Rollins, went 2 for 3 with a walk in the No. 3 spot of the batting order.
Interestingly, Rollins is averaging a career-high 3.86 pitches per plate appearance this season. Only Howard (3.95) and Freddy Galvis (3.90) average more pitches seen per plate appearance than Rollins.The league average for pitches per plate appearance is 3.80 and only Chase Utley, Delmon Young and Ben Revere are below that.
So maybe the Phillies will need a little extra patience at the plate on Saturday night when they face South Korean Hyun-Jin Ryu (6-3, 2.85) for the first time. Only new comer John McDonald has seen Ryu, taking a walk in two plate appearances.
Here's how the Phillies will attack the Dodgers and Ryu:
1. Michael Young, 3B
2. Chase Utley, 2B
3. Jimmy Rollins, SS
4. Domonic Brown, LF
5. Delmon Young, RF
6. John Mayberry Jr., 1B
7. Ben Revere, CF
8. Carlos Ruiz, C
9. Cliff Lee, P
Lee is 2-1 with an 0.95 ERA and 39 strikeouts in 38 innings of five career starts against the Dodgers. That does not include the eight scoreless innings Lee pitched against the Dodgers in Game 3 of the 2009 NLCS. Of the current Dodgers, only lefty Adrian Gonzalez (9 for 16 with three doubles and a homer) has great success against Lee, though Juan Uribe has homered off him twice.
1. Mark Ellis, 2B
2. Yasiel Puig, RF
3. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
4. Hanley Ramirez, SS
5. Matt Kemp, CF
6. Scott Van Slyke, LF
7. A.J. Ellis, C
8. Juan Uribe, 3B
9. Hyun-Jin Ryu, P