It's been just six days since the Phillies ran off their longest winning streak of 2013.
And six days later, they're on the brink of completely erasing it.
Heading into Wednesday night's game against the Twins (28-33), the Phillies are one loss away from slumping into their worst losing streak of the year at five games. After five consecutive wins drove them above .500 (31-30) for the first time since April 14, a four-game funk culminated with a possible defeat tonight could put the Phillies (31-34) right back where they started before their winning push.
Tyler Cloyd (2-2, 3.68) takes the bump for the Phillies and he'll oppose a familiar face (at least to Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard) in ex-Met Mike Pelfrey (3-6, 6.40).
The 6-foot-7 righty has more starts (20) against the Phillies than he does any other big-league team. For the most part, the Phillies had their way with Pelfrey while he was in New York. He is 7-7 lifetime in those 20 starts versus the Phillies with a 5.16 ERA. However, take away Chase Utley and Carlos Ruiz, and just Rollins and Howard are left as the only two current Phillies with extensive track records against Pelfrey.
Rollins vs. Pelfrey: 13 for 44 (.295), 1 HR, 5 RBI, 1 BB, 4 K.
Howard vs. Pelfrey: 16 for 43 (.372), 3 HR, 7 RBI, 7 BB, 4 K.
The rest of the active Phillies: 1 for 31 (.032).
Pelfrey works slow and pitches to contact. Opponents are hitting .328 off him this season and he shouldn't strike you out (28 K, 20 BB). The right-hander is coming off his longest outing of 2013 in which he threw 6 1/3 innings of three-run ball for a no-decision against the Royals.
A noticeable way to hurt Pelfrey is on the bases. Over the last three seasons, Pelfrey has allowed 37 stolen bases in 40 attempts.
Overall, the Phillies have to be pleased with Cloyd's fill-in production. In his five outings this season, Cloyd has thrown four quality starts. Eliminate his clunker in Boston, and the 26-year-old has a 2.00 ERA.
Cloyd should be selective with Minnesota lefties Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau. Both are hitting .300-plus (Mauer: .330, Morneau: .306) versus right-handed pitching. Cloyd and the rest of the Phillies' arms need to make other Twins beat them. Aside from Mauer and Morneau, no other active, everyday Twin is hitting above .238.
Here are tonight's lineups:
1. Michael Young, 3B
2. Ben Revere, CF
3. Jimmy Rollins, SS
4. Ryan Howard, 1B
5. Domonic Brown, LF
6. Delmon Young, DH
7. John Mayberry Jr., RF
8. Freddy Galvis, 2B
9. Steven Lerud, C
1. Jamey Carroll, 3B
2. Joe Mauer, C
3. Ryan Doumit, RF
4. Josh Willingham, DH
5. Justin Morneau, 1B
6. Oswaldo Arcia, LF
7. Clete Thomas, CF
8. Eduardo Escobar, 2B
9. Pedro Florimon, SS