The Philadelphia Phillies continued to struggle against National LEague East opponents this weekend, dropping two of three to the Miami Marlins. After clinging to a lead and needing a five-out save from Jonathan Papelbon Friday night for a 6-4 win, Cole Hamels failed to hold a lead on Saturday and the bats had nothing to offer against Carlos Zambrano on Sunday. Things certainly will be no easier Monday night with the Los Angeles Dodgers coming to town to start a four game series, with Clayton Kershaw taking the mound tonight for the visitors. Kershaw is the reigning Cy Young Award winner in the National League, and off to another fine start this season with a misleading 4-3 record but a 2.42 ERA.
Philadelphia’s own Cy Young Award winner, from 2010, Roy Halladay is on the shelf for up to six or eigth weeks with a Grade 1/2 strain in the right latissimus dorsi (a back and shoulder inury). Having a pitcher of Halladay’s elite stature is costly enough for the Phillies, who are struggling to stay in the mix in the division. Through two months of the season, and the first weekend of June, the Phillies have lost a series to a division opponent five times. Still, the Phillies have managed to have a winning record and are just 3.5 games out of first place (five games back in the loss column). It is far from devastating considering they have been without Chase Utley and Ryan Howard the entire season, and have received so-so production from Halladay and Cliff Lee does not have a win yet.
Halladay’s injury will hurt the Phillies in the meantime, and it could also end up hurting Halladay’s savings account a little (not that he has too much to be worried about, nor is it a top concern for him). Kristi Dosh, ESPN’s much more enjoyable answer to CNBC’s Darren Rovell, makes note of something discussed today by The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Matt Gelb…
Roy Halladay’s injury could cost him $20m. He needs to throw at least 415 innings total in 2012 and 2013 for his 2014 option to vest.
— Kristi Dosh (@SportsBizMiss) June 4, 2012
Gelb notes that Halladay signed his contract with the Phillies before 2010 with a $20 million vesting option for 2014. The conditions are automatically met if Halladay throws 225 innings n 2013, is not on the disabled list at the end of next season, and he throws a combined 415 innings this year and next. Missing eight weeks of baseball certainly makes that more difficult. Gelb breaks it down a little more for you.
As for this series with the Dodgers, keep this in mind. While Los Angeles has feasted on home victories (21-9 at Dodger Stadium), the blue crew is just 12-12 on the road. The Phillies, of course, have been mostly dreadful at home with a 12-15 record at Citizens Bank Park after this weekend’s action. The Phillies are also 7-6 against the NL West this season, having played the San Francisco Giants (1-2), San Diego Padres (4-3) and Arizona Diamondbacks (2-1).
The Dodgers have enjoyed some moments of regular season success, winning four seperate series since Citizens Bank Park opened in 2004 (winning each series from 2005-2007 and adding a regular season series victory in 2009) but the Phillies have won the last two regular season series in Philadelphia (winning each 2-1). The Dodgers are also 0-5 in Philadelphia in the postseason, going 0-2 in 2008 and losing all three games in Philadelphia in 2009. The Phillies have swept a pair of regular season series in Citizens Bank Park as well, doing so in 2004 and again in a four-game set in 2008, just a week after the Dodgers swept the Phillies on the west coast.
Vance Worley will have the task of opposing Kershaw Monday night. It will be Worley’s first appearance on the mound since going on the disabled list, which could mean he will be placed on a certain pitch count. Quick, effective innings will be important for the young pitcher. Worley is 8-3 with a 2.61 ERA at home, and June has been his best month in his young career. Worley is 1-0 with a 1.00 ERA and 0.798 WHIP in three career starts in June (all individual bests for a single month). Worley has pitched one game against the Dodgers, and he was roughed up pretty bad in his lone start, which took place in Dodger Stadium last season. Worley allowed six earned runs (seven total) in just four innings of work. The offense bailed Worley out in that game, in which five of the Dodgers runs were scored in the first inning.
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