My Double-Dime 9* Pitching Mismatch (NL) Game of the week is on the Phi Phillies at 9:40 ET.
The D’backs were 32 games under .500 in 2010 but in one year turned things around, going 94-68 in 2011, on the way to winning the NL West. Arizona won four straight and five of six to open the 2012 season but the dropped SEVEN of nine, including FIVE in a row at home. Ian Kennedy's pitching plus a five-run second inning on Sunday (grand slam helps) ended that slide, as Arizona won 6-4. The team then followed that win by pounding out 16 hits in last night’s series opening 9-5 win over the Phillies. Philadelphia is in last place in the National League East, having dropped three straight to fall to 3-5 on its current 10-game West Coast swing. Monday’s 9-5 setback marked just the FOURTH time in 17 games that the Phillies have reached the five-run plateau but all five of their runs came in the 9th (entered that final frame down 9-0!). Justin Upton was the face of Arizona’s hitting woes until Monday, when he finally recorded his first RBIs of the season and hit his first homer. I’m not all that convinced that Arizona's hitting g woes are over, as SS Stephen Drew (ankle) is still working his way back, playing in extended spring training games this week. Then there is center fielder Chris Young (shoulder), who was placed on the 15-day disabled list for the first time in his career last Wednesday (that trio is ONE-THIRD of Arizona’s lineup!). Facing the D’backs will be Philly’s Vance Worley. He won 11 of his first 12 decision last year, finishing 11-3 with a 3-01 ERA in 25 appearances (21 starts) in 2011. He would finish third in the rookie of the year voting with the Phillies going 16-5 in all of his starts (moneyline mark of plus-$1,013 was 6th-best in MLB!). Worley dominated the San Diego Padres last week, allowing four hits and striking out 11 in seven scoreless innings, to pick up his first win of 2012 (1-1 with a 2.37 ERA). He has surrendered a total of one ER in 13 innings during two road outings this year (0.69 ERA). "His confidence level is big," manager Charlie Manuel told the Phillies' official website. "He can definitely rebound when he gets in jams. He can turn it up." The Phillies will need him now, as Cliff Lee was just recently placed on the DL. Opposing Worley will be Arizona’s Josh Collmenter. As a rookie last year, he burst on the scene with his crazy delivery and was unhittable in his first six starts (1.05 ERA, 0.76 WHIP / team was 5-1). He predictably tailed off, as the team went 7-11 over his last 18 starts (he was 10-10 on the season with a 3.38 ERA). That being said, he led the rotation with a 1.07 WHIP, walking just 28 batters in 154.1 innings (100 Ks and 137 hits allowed). However, Collmenter went 0-4 with a 9.95 ERA in six spring starts and battled some forearm stiffness. His early starts (three) in 2012 have been a disaster!He hasn’t made it out of the fifth in inning yet, allowing 16 hits and 14 ERs in 12,.1 innings (10.22 ERA). Kirk Gibson is sticking with Collmenter for now, despite fan clamor for top prospect Trevor Bauer. How quickly the ‘natives’ get restless. They’ll be more restless after tonight. Take Worley over Collmenter.