After a 10-game homestand which featured Charlie Manuel's firing, Roy Halladay's return, four walk-off wins and an 18-inning loss, the Phillies head to New York for Ryne Sandberg's first road series as a major-league manager.
Cliff Lee starts the road trip against Zack Wheeler. Lee, 10-6 with a 3.16 ERA, hasn't won since July 5, but he's followed four poor starts with three quality ones.
The Phillies must have a better plan against Wheeler, the Mets' rookie righty with a blazing fastball but poor control. When they faced Wheeler in his sixth start, they swung at 11 pitches high and out of the zone and only put one in play for a hit. They let him off the hook, scoring just twice despite seven hits, two walks and a hit batsmen.
Wheeler (6-2, 3.49) flashed his potential two starts ago, striking out 12 Padres over six innings. With Matt Harvey out for the season and potentially much longer with a partial tear in his elbow, Wheeler will become even more important to New York's immediate future.
Several Phillies are rolling. Darin Ruf leads the NL with nine homers this month; Carlos Ruiz is 15-for-his-last-29 with six extra-base hits; and Cody Asche has hit .346 over a seven-game hitting streak. Out of the bullpen, Jake Diekman has pitched 7.1 straight scoreless innings with 12 strikeouts and no walks.
1) Roger Bernadina, CF
2) Jimmy Rollins, SS
3) Chase Utley, 2B
4) Carlos Ruiz, C
5) Michael Young, 1B
6) Darin Ruf, LF
7) Cody Asche, 3B
8) John Mayberry, RF
9) Cliff Lee, P