National League Preview from The Sports Network
Monday, July 21 (All times Eastern)
San Francisco Giants (54-44) at Philadelphia Phillies (43-55), 7:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: San Francisco - Ryan Vogelsong (5-7, 3.86) Philadelphia - Cliff Lee (4-4, 3.18)
(SportsNetwork.com) - Cliff Lee is set to return to the Philadelphia Phillies' rotation on Monday night to open a four-game series with the visiting San Francisco Giants.
How long he will be there is anybody's guess.
With the Phillies 12 games under .500 and 11 games back of first place in the NL East, the club figures to be very active prior to the non-waiver trade deadline on July 31. Lee could be in high demand if he proves healthy and tonight will make his first start since May 18 because of a strained left elbow.
Lee is 4-4 with a 3.18 earned run average on the season, but did allow eight runs over 4 1/3 innings in his final rehab start. The left-hander, though, dismissed the numbers and says he is in good health.
"I feel as good as I've felt the whole time. I made three rehab starts and am going to pitch Monday," said Lee on Philadelphia's website. "I'm just ready to try to help the team win. That's what I want to do."
The Phillies picked a good team for Lee to return against. In six career meetings with the Giants, the 35-year-old is 5-0 with a 0.88 ERA, having allowed five earned runs over 51 innings with a pair of complete games and one shutout.
Philadelphia would love to see that trend continue as it has lost four of its past five games.
The Giants sit in a much better position, tied atop the NL West with the Los Angeles Dodgers. San Francisco won its first two games versus the Miami Marlins following the All-Star break before dropping Sunday's finale 3-2.
San Francisco is expected to place first baseman Brandon Belt on the disabled list on Monday due to a concussion. He was hit in the face during batting practice on Saturday and ended up leaving that game early. Belt did not play on Sunday, a tough break for a player who had just returned to action on July 4 after missing 50 games due to a broken thumb.
Giants scheduled starter Ryan Vogelsong has been dealing with his own tough luck as of late, having lost four straight starts despite a 2.92 ERA over that time. San Francisco has been outscored 12-1 in those four outings and has not plated a run in the righty's past three games.
Vogelsong, who has not won since June 21, gave up two runs on six hits and four walks over 6 1/3 innings on July 12 versus Arizona, falling in defeat 2-0. He also gave up his first homer in seven starts while dropping to 5-7 on the season with a 3.86 ERA.
"It's kind of crazy that this keeps happening to me, but it's stuff that you go through during the season," said Vogelsong, alluding to the lack of run support. "It's like anything else, like an injury or not playing good. You keep fighting and come out the other side."
Pitching one day ahead of his 37th birthday, Vogelsong is 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA in five career meetings with the Phillies, two of those starts.
The Phils and Giants split six meetings a season ago.
07/21 10:28:50 ET