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Phillies-Rockies: 5 things you need to know
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1. Where and when
The Phillies (55-69) ride a two-game winning streak into Tuesday night’s 7:05 game against the Rockies (58-68) at Citizens Bank Park. It’s the longest win streak the Phils have had since the All-Star break, which is both inspiring and depressing at the same time. The game is on CSN.
2. Spot start for Cloyd
Tyler Cloyd is up from Triple A to make a start in the slot previously occupied by John Lannan. Lannan is on the 15-day DL with left knee tendinosis and may have pitched his last game as a Phillie.
Cloyd, 2-2 with a 3.41 ERA in six starts earlier this season, looks to duplicate Ethan Martin’s effort from last night. Martin allowed two runs over six innings to a weak Colorado lineup to earn his second career win.
Cloyd was on a roll at Lehigh Valley and that’s why he earned the promotion. Over his last seven starts he has a 1.33 ERA and .170 opponents’ batting average.
3. George of the roses
The Phils take on Rockies lefty Jorge De La Rosa, who’s been the ace of a pretty bad starting staff. De La Rosa is 12-6 with a 3.22 ERA, and he’s one of the rare Rockies pitchers who actually has better numbers at Coors Field (8-1, 2.58 ERA) than on the road (4-5, 3.84).
Lefties have hit just .213/.286/.255 off De La Rosa this year, while righties check in at .282/.344/.400. Thirty-five of the 39 extra-base hits he’s allowed have been by right-handed batters.
The Phils haven’t seen De La Rosa since May 2011, when he took a complete game, 2-1 loss. In his four previous starts vs. the Phils, he had an 11.34 ERA.
The Phillies have never lost to the Mexican southpaw.
4. Chooch coming alive
Ryne Sandberg rewarded Carlos Ruiz by moving him up to the two-hole after his 4-for-4 day on Sunday, and Chooch responded by going 2 for 4 with a solo homer and a double.
Ruiz has hit .349 over his last 14 games with five extra-base hits, the same amount he had in his first 49 games.
5. Progress for Diekman?
The Phillies have been looking for a young reliever to step up and step into a setup role since Mike Adams went down in late May. Lefty fireballer Jake Diekman seized an opportunity on Monday, striking out Todd Helton and Nolan Arenado with two on and one out in the eighth inning of a one-run game.
Diekman’s stuff has always been impressive, but his poise and control have been question marks. A few more outings like Tuesday’s and his confidence could grow to the point that the team can begin to trust him in late-game situations. Diekman has struck out seven batters and allowed two hits over his last four outings, all of which were scoreless.