Dodger Lineup vs. Philadelphia
A.J. Ellis 2
You know what they say? Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. For this Edition of our conversations with the enemy series, we take you all the way out to the city of brotherly love also known as Philadelphia. The Dodgers will be playing a four game series with the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park from Monday-Thursday, as the Dodgers go from one Band box in Denver to another one in Philly. Of course Philadelphia has been neither brotherly nor lovely for the Dodgers. So in order to prepare for the first series against our former NLCS foes, I sat down to talk with Ethan Seidel writer for http://ThatBallsouttahere.com Fansided’s own Phillies site.
This year’s Phillies team are only a few games back of first place Washington, yet treading water in last place in the ultra competitive NL East. These are not the Phillies we are used to seeing as several of their key players are out injured. Ryan Howard (Big Nose), second baseman Chase Utley, and pitcher Roy Halladay are all out with injuries. Ace Roy Halladay has been mortal, and is now on the DL with a shoulder injury. Howard and Utley haven’t played all season with injuries of their own. Howard suffered a torn achillies heel during the last at-bat of last season’s Division series loss to the Cardinals. He hasn’t played since then. Chase Utley’s chronic knee problems are well documented, and his return is unknown. Despite all of the injuries, the Phillies are still within striking distance at 28-26, and are hoping that once their big boys return in a couple of months, they can make a run.
Here is my conversation with Ethan, as we discussed the Phillies injuries, the upcoming pitching match-ups, and the big scare in Philly. Apparently the Phillies fans are very scared that the Dodgers are going to steal away Cole Hamels and sign him this winter. Of course it is no secret that the Dodgers are very interested in Hamels, and should pursue him if he chooses to file for free agency this fall. You can also check out Ethan’s questions to me at Thatballsouttahere by clicking here… http://thatballsouttahere.com/2012/06/01/phillies-phoes-of-the-week-re-developed-fishtown-dodgerland/
1. I know the Phillies have a lot of injuries this year, Halladay, Howard, Utley, are all out with injuries. What is the status on these guys? Are any of them due back anytime soon? Do you think the Phillies can stay afloat in the NL East until they come back? Or do you think this is a lost season for Philadelphia?
Ethan:thanks to the new wild card format, very few teams are out of the hunt in June. That said it doesn’t get any easier for the Phils now that Halladay is on the shelf. Don’t expect Utley, Howard, or Doc to return until mid-late July. What you see is what you get with the Phillies right now. They are in last, but are within 5 games of first. If they can somehow keep that pace up until the big guys come back they’ll have a shot.
2. Do you think Cole Hamels will resign with Philadelphia?
Ethan: Every Phillies fans worst nightmare Is Cole signing with your Dodgers in the offseason. Before the season started I was convinced there was no way they let him go. Now that we are two months in I don’t think they will work anything out before the end of the year. Hamels is pitching to well to settle now, so I’d put it at 50-50. The Phillies have the $ but won’t go 7 years on the length of the deal.
3.Who is going to take Halladay’s spot in the rotation?
Ethan: the team was hoping for Vance Worley to come back and take his spot, but he doesn’t seem ready just yet. They’ll turn to a veteran down in AAA like Dave Bush most likely. None of the Phillies baby aces has reached the point where management feels confident giving them the call. No matter who winds up taking his turn, no one can replace Roy Halladay.
Clayton Kershaw will take the mound for the Dodgers in game one on Monday night as he tries to avoid losing three in a row for the first time in his career. In his last start his worst of his career he allowed five runs and eight hits through 4.2 innings during a loss to the Brewers. Kershaw has been dreadful against the Phillies during his career. Kershaw is 0-4 with a 5.18 ERA against the Phils. However none of the current group has ever hit Kershaw well. The current Phillies are a collective 18 for 86 (.209) against the Cy Young winner. Carlos Ruiz is 3 for 8 with a home run, and Placido Polanco is also 3 for 8. Two other Phillies have hit home runs off Kershaw. Shane Victorino, the rat face, has two, and Jimmy Rollins has hit one. Kershaw this season is 4-3 with a 2.42 ERA.
Philadelphia will counter with right hander Vance Worley, who is returning from the DL today after suffering from right elbow inflammation, and bone chips removed from his elbow. The Vanimal as they call him will be taking the injured Ace Roy Halladay’s spot in the rotation. Worley has only faced the Dodgers once, allowing six runs in four innings in a no-decision. Worley this season is 3-2 with a 3.07 ERA.
Here are the rest of the pitching match-ups for the series.
Tuesday-Chad Billinglsey-2-4 vs. Cliff Lee-0-2
Thursday-Aaron Harang-4-3 vs. Cole Hamels-8-2
The series will also mark the return home for Bobby Abreu, who played for the Phillies from 1998-2003. Matt Kemp will also be rejoinging the club tonight as he continues his injury rehab. Tonight’s game is on at 405PM and televised on KCAL. Stick with us after the game for our postgame recap. Can the Dodgers end their week long suckfest? Stick around to find out. Go Blue!