Coming off just his second win of the season, Cliff Lee heads back to the mound this afternoon in hopes of helping the Phillies take the rubber match of a three-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Lee was rumored to be on the trading block, but wasn't dealt by the July 31 deadline for non-waiver transactions. He was reportedly claimed off waivers by the Dodgers, but that certainly doesn't mean the teams will agree to a trade prior to the end of this month. In fact, Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. has reportedly said the lefty "isn't going anywhere."
Lee, the AL Cy Young Award winner in 2008, threw seven shutout innings in an 8-0 triumph at Washington on Tuesday. Both of his victories this year have come on the road, while at Citizens Bank Park he's 0-4 with a 4.53 ERA in seven games. Lee is also 3-1 in four career games versus Arizona.
The Diamondbacks, who head into Sunday three games behind NL West-leading San Francisco, will counter with Trevor Cahill. The right-hander is coming off a victory against the Dodgers on Monday, but has alternated wins and losses in his last six outings. This will be his second career start against the Phillies.
Last night, Roy Halladay tossed seven shutout innings as the Phillies won, 3-0. Halladay (5-6) fanned five, scattered three hits and walked one in his first win since May 17. He had a 7.20 ERA in five outings during the skid, his second three-game losing streak this season. It's the first time in his career that he's had two such slides in the same year.
"He had better arm strength tonight," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said of Halladay, who returned in July after a two-month stint on the disabled list with a strained lat muscle.
"The last two games I feel like things are going in the right direction, there's some things we've been changing and to be able to get results after you're making changes like that, you feel like you're going back to normal," Halladay said.
Philadelphia improved to 13-20 in starts made by Halladay and Lee this season, a year after the tandem went 46-18 in their 2011 starts.
Joe Saunders (5-8) surrendered two runs on six hits and two walks in 6 1/3 innings for Arizona, which had won 11 of 14 coming in.
"We were kind of anxious early on," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "When maybe he (Halladay) was struggling a little bit. A couple of the upcounts we had, we didn't swing at good pitches. Then he got in a groove and it's really hard to get to him when he gets going in his groove."
Prior to the game, the Phillies placed catcher Carlos Ruiz on the 15-day disabled list with plantar fasciitis in his left foot. He is expected to miss 4-to-6 weeks.
Philadelphia won two of three meetings with Arizona from April 23-25 in the desert and is 10-2 in the last 12 matchups as the host.