Phillies-Rockies: What you need to know
Phillies (33-37) vs. Colorado Rockies (25-42)
7:05 p.m. on CSN
Even though first base umpire Alfonso Marquez couldn’t have possibly seen Placido Polanco’s foot prevent Todd Helton’s from hitting the first base bag in what gave the Phillies a 7-6 win on Wednesday, hustle and two-out execution allowed the Phils to register just their second walkoff win of the season.
Marquez didn’t have the angle, but he did see Helton fumbling around for the bag and made the correct (albeit lucky) call.
Nine of the Phillies’ 14 runs vs. Colorado this series have been scored with two outs, a trend they’re hoping to continue Thursday when Vance Worley takes the mound in search of a sweep.Need that sweep
The Phillies have a pair of two-game sweeps in 2012 but haven’t yet swept a three-game series. We wrote on our game notes at the outset of the homestand that the Phils needed not just to win the series with the Rockies, they needed to take all three games.
If the Phils can do that, and then win the next two home series against the Rays and Pirates -- both of whom struggle offensively -- they can end the homestand back at .500, at 39-39.Starting pitchers
Worley (3-3, 2.80 ERA) has been the Phillies’ most consistent starting pitcher of late. He’s allowed more than three runs in a game just once in his last eight starts, and has allowed one earned run or none in five of those outings.
Worley made two solid interleague starts during the road trip, permitting the Orioles and Blue Jays six runs (but just one earned) over 13 innings.
The 24-year-old Worley has been much better on the road, though, than at home. He has a 1.89 ERA away from Citizens Bank Park and a 4.30 ERA on his own mound.
Worley faced the Rockies only once in his career in a scoreless inning of relief.
He is opposed by lefthander Jeff Francis, who just returned to the Rockies 13 days ago after unsuccessful runs in Kansas City and Cincinnati. Francis spent 2004-10 with Colorado, going 55-50 with a 4.77 ERA.
Phillies fans remember Francis most from Game 1 of the 2007 NLDS, when he outdueled Cole Hamels, striking out eight over six innings to pick up the first win of what would become a Rockies sweep.
That was the high point of Francis’ career. He missed the end of the 2008 season and all of the ’09 season with shoulder soreness that led to arthroscopic surgery. The news two seasons were down years, and he’s 0-1 with a 12.46 ERA in two starts for the Rox in 2012. Francis has allowed 18 hits in 8 2/3 innings.
Francis’ repertoire is anything but overpowering -- he throws a mid-80s fastball, a high-60s curveball and a mid-70s changeup.Get to the lefty
The Phillies are 8-13 this season against lefthanded starting pitchers, but Francis doesn’t pose too much of a threat. Current Phillies are batting .317 off him in 123 at-bats.
Juan Pierre is 17 for 39 off Francis for a .436 batting average. Jimmy Rollins is 6 for 12. So, theoretically, those two should set the table and leave it up to Hunter Pence, Carlos Ruiz and Shane Victorino to knock them in.
Victorino was 2 for 4 on Wednesday with a pair of infield singles, but he’s been to the plate 46 times since he last drove in a run. Take away his five-RBI night in Baltimore on June 8 and Victorino has one RBI in the month.
But Victorino tends to hit lefties well, so this could be exactly what he needs.Mayberry’s mashing
Mayberry is 7 for 16 in his last four games with three homers, two doubles, six RBI and five runs scored. Of his 130 career hits, 59 have gone for extra bases for a whopping 45 percent XBH rate.
And Mayberry’s always seen lefties much better than righties. He owns a .292/.321/.593 career line vs. southpaws. If he could just replicate those numbers against righties, Mayberry would be having a Giancarlo Stanton-type season.Note of interest
The Phillies are 85-60 (.586) against the Rockies since Colorado entered the league as an expansion team in 1993. The only team the Phils have fared better against during that span is the Brewers, against whom they’re 57-40 (.588).
The Phils are 11-1 against the Rockies in their last 12 regular-season meetings.Sound off
With Worley going tonight and Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels scheduled to face the Rays, do you think the Phillies can put together an extended winning streak?E-mail Corey Seidman at firstname.lastname@example.org