MLB Odds: Cliff Lee and the Phillies Visit the Chicago Cubs
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
by Frank Martin
The oppressive temperature eventually got to Roy Halladay and the Philadelphia Phillies in Monday's 6-1 loss at humid Wrigley Field. A dizzy Halladay had to be removed in the fifth inning, but is expected to make his next start. The Chicago Cubs would like to keep the heat on the league-leading Phillies when they play the second of their three-game series on Tuesday.
After an impressive June, Cliff Lee will vie for his first win in July when he takes the hill for Philadelphia. Matt Garza provides the opposition for Chicago, which posted just its fourth win in 12 outings following its 6-1 victory on Monday.
Lee was downright stingy during the month of June, winning all five starts while permitting just one run in the process. After yielding three homers in the eighth inning of a start against the Toronto Blue Jays in July 3, Lee returned to form six days later by striking out nine over eight innings in a no-decision against the Atlanta Braves. Lee improved to 5-4 in his career versus the Cubs after tossing eight solid innings against them on June 11.
Garza recorded seven scoreless innings in his last start against the Florida Marlins - and received a no-decision. He was handed a similar fate in his previous outing when he yielded seven runs on eight hits in two innings against the Washington Nationals. Go figure. Garza has split a pair of career outings against Philadelphia. He permitted two runs on five hits in six innings in a 7-1 loss to the Phillies on June 11.
Gold Glove outfielder Shane Victorino is expected to be activated from the disabled list prior to Tuesday's game. Victorino has been sidelined since spraining his right thumb on an awkward play against the Blue Jays on July 3. The speedy Hawaiian went 4-for-8 with a double and run scored over the weekend in a pair of rehabilitation starts with Double-A Reading. Jimmy Rollins belted a solo homer to account for his team's only run on Monday. Rollins is batting .362 in the month of July, but he has failed to record a hit in seven career at-bats versus Garza.
Third baseman Placido Polanco is leaning toward taking a cortisone injection for his balky back. Should he do so, his expected return from the disabled list on Wednesday will be pushed back an additional day or two.
Aramis Ramirez launched his 17th homer of the season in the first inning on Monday. The blast was his major league-best 15th since June 1. A subject of constant trade rumors, Ramirez has hit safely in 12 of his last 13 games. Carlos Pena had three hits - including his team-leading 20th homer of the season and 250th of his career. Both stars have struggled versus Lee, with Ramirez going 1-for-7 and Pena collecting just six hits in 32 career at-bats. Although it wasn't a save situation, Carlos Marmol worked the ninth on Monday. He yielded two walks before striking out John Mayberry Jr. to end the game.
"It is my family consideration. If I was single and by myself, then I’d move anywhere and be in a hotel for the last two months. It’s too tough with my family. I earned the right to be in this position and it’s my decision." - Ramirez, who as a 10-and-5 player, on his right to refuse any trade.
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