The surging Diamondbacks (54-51), winners of 10 of their past 13 contests, head to Philadelphia to begin a three-game weekend set against the last place Phillies (47-58) on Friday.
Less than two weeks ago, Arizona was 7 games back in the National League West division, but their hot streak paired with rough stretches by San Francisco and Los Angeles have allowed the D-Backs to creep upward into contention and they now reside just 2 games out of first place.
The Phils are fresh off a series win on the road against the first place Nationals, but dropped the series finale on Thursday, 3-0.
In the opener of this series, Arizona will send right-hander Ian Kennedy, a former 1st round draft pick of the Yankees, to the mound. The Phillies will counter with righty Joe Blanton, who has struggled at home of late, posting a 6.05 ERA in his last 6 starts at Citizens Bank Park.
Read ahead for details on the pitching match ups and other key statistical notes for this series.
Friday, 7:05 PM. Ian Kennedy (9-8, 4.20 ERA) vs. Joe Blanton (8-9, 4.59 ERA). In his last 5 road starts, Kennedy is 2-3 with a 4.28 ERA. Kennedy is 1-1 with a 2.25 ERA in 2 career starts against the Phillies. Nate Schierholtz is 1-for-11 (.091 avg) in his career against Kennedy. In 10 home starts this season, Blanton has a 4-3 record with a 4.59 ERA. Blanton is 1-1 with a 9.00 ERA in his career against Arizona. Aaron Hill is 1-for-15 (.067 avg) in his career against Blanton.
Saturday, 7:05 PM. Joe Saunders (5-7, 3.62 ERA) vs. Roy Halladay (4-6, 4.33 ERA). In 4 career starts against the Phillies, Saunders has a 1-2 record with a 5.26 ERA. In his last 5 starts, Saunders has a 1-3 record with a 3.94 ERA. Saunders has a 1-2 record and a 2.44 ERA in 8 road starts this season. Ryan Howard is 0-for-12 in his career against Saunders. In 6 home starts this season, Halladay has a 1-3 record with a 4.28 ERA. Halladay is 0-1 with a 5.82 ERA in 3 starts since returning from the disabled list.
Sunday, 1:35 PM. Trevor Cahill (9-9, 3.75 ERA) vs. Cliff Lee (2-6, 3.73 ERA). Cahill is 5-4 with a 2.79 ERA and a .216 batting average against in 11 road starts this year. In 6 July starts, Cahill had a 3-3 record with a 3.96 ERA. In 4 career starts against Arizona, Lee has a 3-1 record with a 3.21 ERA. Lee is 0-4 with a 4.53 ERA in 7 home starts this season.
Nate Schierholtz is a career .168 hitter in 50 games against the Diamondbacks. Schierholtz has a .241 average with 2 HR in 9 career games at Citizens Bank Park.
Jimmy Rollins is batting .224 in 18 games since the All-Star break. Rollins is a .310 hitter in 61 career games against the D-Backs.
Jonathan Papelbon is 6-for-6 in career save opportunities and has a 1.59 ERA in 7 outings against Arizona. Lyle Overbay and Jason Kubel are a combined 9-for-23 (.391 avg) in thier careers against Papelbon.
In 6 career games against the Phillies, Jason Kubel has a .409 batting average with 2 doubles, a triple and 2 HR. In 43 road games this season, Kubel has posted a .250 average with 5 HR…by comparison, Kubel is hitting .319 with 17 HR in 52 home games.
Justin Upton has posted a .246 batting average in 18 games since the All-Star break. Upton has a .158 average in 5 career games at Citizens Bank Park.
Paul Goldschmidt has notched four straight multi-hit games with 2 HR and 6 RBI in that stretch. Goldschmidt is batting .319 in 45 road games this season.
D-Backs ERA since the All-Star break- 3.39 (7th in MLB)
Phillies ERA since the All-Star break- 3.51 (8th in MLB)
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