Cliff Lee will make his first home start for the Phillies today when they conclude their three-game series against the Colorado Rockies with a 1:05 p.m. game at Citizens Bank Park.
Even though Lee has never faced the Rockies in the regular season, the lefthander pitched against them in an exhibition game, leaving a distinct impression on Rockies manager Jim Tracy.
"He's a great competitor, has very good stuff, and is a quick worker who likes to set the tempo and dictate the tempo," Tracy said before last night's game. "You have to be mindful of that and you have to make him pitch in the strike zone because if you start expanding out of the strike zone and start chasing out of the zone, he will feast on you."
Lee made an impressive Phillies debut Friday, pitching a complete-game four-hitter in a 5-1 win over the San Francisco Giants.
Carlos Ruiz said he was feeling no discomfort from a right-thumb injury he suffered Thursday when he was hit on his bare hand with a pitch while catching. The Phillies catcher sat out the next two games, but he started Sunday, Tuesday and last night.
"Everything is OK," Ruiz said before the game. He went 2 for 4 with a double last night in a 7-0 shutout of the Rockies.
Ruiz, hitting .231, said he was looking to put together a productive two months. "I'm seeing the ball well and that is a good sign," he said.
Dodgers thinking of Phils
It's interesting that the Phillies were mentioned after bad blood flared between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the visiting Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday.
The Dodgers won, 17-4. As they were leading by nine runs in the seventh inning, Manny Ramirez was hit by a pitch from Milwaukee's Chris Smith.
Dodgers reliever Guillermo Mota retaliated by hitting Prince Fielder with two outs in the ninth inning. After the game, Fielder had to be restrained from going after Mota in the Dodgers' clubhouse.
"We don't want the same situation as last year in the playoffs, when Philly threw at Manny and we didn't retaliate," Dodgers catcher Russell Martin said in reference to last year's loss to the Phillies in the National League Championship Series. "We don't want to be known as a team that doesn't have each other's backs."
Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said he didn't see Tuesday's incident but said the Phillies had a specific plan with Ramirez in last year's NLCS.
"I would never tell anybody to hit Manny," Manuel said. "At the same time, we were pitching him inside."
No matter how they pitched him, Ramirez went 8 for 15 (.533) with two home runs and seven RBIs in the five-game series.
Myers to the rescue?
Manuel is excited at the thought of possibly getting righthander Brett Myers back for the stretch run as a reliever. Myers underwent hip surgery in early June and is scheduled to pitch a simulated game today in Clearwater.
"Myers is ahead of schedule from what I hear," Manuel said. "If Myers can pitch like we know he can and if he's healthy, he's going to help us when he comes back."
After hitting a three-run homer last night, Jayson Werth has a career-high 69 RBIs. His previous high was 67, last year. . . . Jimmy Rollins hit a two-run homer. He has homered in three straight games for the second time in his career. . . . Colorado shortstop Troy Tulowitzki had a 10-game hitting streak snapped after going 0 for 4 with three strikeouts.