Game 23: Breaking Even

Phillies RF Hunter Pence takes a terrible swing against the Cubs on April 29, 2012. (Photo by John Russo/TTB)

The Phillies (10-12) will attempt to even up the series with the Cubs (8-14) tonight, capping off a four-game set.

After dropping the first game on Friday, 5-1, they bounced back with a nice offensive showing in a 5-2 win. But the bats went ice cold again, mustering only two hits in a 5-1 loss yesterday afternoon.

It’ll be up to the offense to back Vance Worley (2-1, 2.16) as the Phillies try earn a split against the lowly Cubs and retry their assent over .500, something they haven’t seen since being 2-1 to start the season.

In his last start, an 8-5 win over the Diamondbacks, Worley went six innings, allowing a run on five hits and a walk, striking out six. He has been very good to start the season, which saw a career high 11 strikeouts in a win against the Padres the previous start.

A handful of Phillies have been just absolute wastes at the plate. Even though Hunter Pence and Jimmy Rollins got hits in yesterday’s 5-1 loss, they have been nothing short of awful at the plate through the first 22 games.

Pence, who was supposed to pick up the most slack at the plate with the injuries, has been terrible. He’s hitting .253, well below his career average, and has a putrid OBP below .300 as slugging percentage under .400.

Rollins has been awful in his own right, hitting .222 with five RBIs and eight runs scored. He has three doubles, the only extra base hits he has on the year out of his 18 hits.

But no one looks more lost at the plate than rookie Freddy Galvis. He’s hitting below the Mendoza line (.194) with an OBP of .229 and OPS of .527.

Getting the start for the Cubs is Chris Volstad (0-3, 6.14). He has struggled this season, allowing at least three runs in each of his four starts.

Volstad also struggles against the Phillies, a hopeful positive sign for Philadelphia in desperate need to find their footing. In 12 career starts against the Phils, Volstad is 2-5 with a 5.88 ERA.

The Phillies also need to solve Cubs slugger Bryan LaHair. He’s 5-for-11 in the series with three doubles, one RBI and three runs scored. In the last 10 games, he’s hitting .400 with two homers and six RBIs.

Tonight’s Lineup: Rollins 6, Polanco 5, Victorino 8, Pence 5, Wigginton 3, Nix 7, Ruiz 2, Orr 4, Worley 1.

2B Freddy Galvis. (Photo by John Russo/TTB)

Blog post of the day: This come’s via the blog “We Should Be GMs” and it’s a doozy by GM Carson. Freddy Galvis’ wizardry at second base has shrouded the eyes of many fans on how poor of a hitter he really is. Over at WSBGM, they take a stab at Galvis as well as beat writer Todd Zolecki for defending the rookie infielder.

Lee update: Todd Zolecki tweeted that Cliff Lee won’t come off the DL on Friday but that the lefty is improving.

The Phillies want Lee to throw two bull pen sessions before they activate him.


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