Carlos Ruiz is back and Cliff Lee is on the mound for the Phillies Tuesday night against the Nationals. Lee (8-2, 2.55) hasn't lost since May 1, and is 6-0 with a 1.93 ERA over his last eight starts.
Lee has the highest WAR of any pitcher in June and has mastered the controllable aspects of the game. Since May 1, his K/9 is 8.2, his BB/9 is 1.5 and he's allowed just two homers in 60 2/3 innings.
His counterpart is Ross Detwiler (2-4, 3.02), who is just the 13th lefty starter the Phillies have faced in 72 games this season. The Phils have played fewer games vs. LHP than any National League team, and 11 NL clubs have already had at least eight more than the Phils.
The returning Ruiz homered off Detwiler last September, when the Phils chased him after five runs in five innings. In Detwiler's previous two starts against the Phillies, however, he pitched 14.1 scoreless innings and held them to a .128 batting average.
With Ruiz back and Kevin Frandsen playing second, the Phils' lineup looks much better than it has in recent days. Chase Utley should be back by the end of the week, too, which can only strengthen the order. Make no mistake, though, the Phillies need to take tonight's game and do no worse than 4-2 on this six-game homestand for the returns to really matter.
1) Ben Revere, CF (16 hits, 7 runs during 8-game hit streak)
2) Michael Young, 3B
3) Jimmy Rollins, SS
4) Ryan Howard, 1B
5) Domonic Brown, LF
6) Delmon Young, RF
7) Kevin Frandsen, 2B (.398 BA vs. lefties as a Phillie)
8) Carlos Ruiz, C (first game since May 19)
9) Cliff Lee, P