Unlike the Philadelphia Phillies’ three best starters, Vance
Worley won’t be a part of next week’s Midsummer Classic.
The 23-year-old, however, was compared to his All-Star teammates
following another impressive display his last time out.
The visiting Phillies send Worley to the hill as they look to
continue their recent domination of the Florida Marlins when the
teams begin a three-game set Monday night.
Major league-leading Philadelphia (53-32), which had won five of
six entering Sunday, lost 7-4 at Toronto as Cliff Lee yielded seven
runs in 7 1-3 innings, bringing his 34 scoreless-inning streak to
Despite that surprising result, Lee will join Roy Halladay and
Cole Hamels at the All-Star game, marking the first time in
franchise history that three Phillies pitchers will attend the
“It’s pretty cool,” Hamels told the Phillies’ official website.
“It’s an honor just to be in that sort of caliber of pitchers. What
we’re doing right now, we’re just trying to be the best. Obviously,
it’s showing that we’re capable of it.”
While Worley (3-1, 2.57 ERA) hasn’t garnered the attention that
Philadelphia’s trio of aces has received, he’s more than held his
own in what is widely considered baseball’s best rotation.
The right-hander, who has allowed one run or fewer in five of
seven starts this year, gave up one and five hits during a
season-best seven innings of Wednesday’s 2-1 victory over Boston,
improving to 1-0 with a 1.00 ERA over his last three games.
“He looked like he’s been around for a long time,” Boston’s
David Ortiz said. “He’s got good command, you know, and, man, he
looked like one of those big starters they have right there.
“…He’s got the best pitching staff around him. A smart guy
takes advantage of it, tries to learn, talks to those guys and sees
what they’re thinking when they’re pitching.”
Worley will try to help the Phillies extend their five-game win
streak in this series, during which they’ve outscored Florida 30-9.
Philadelphia, 7-2 versus the Marlins (38-46) this season, has taken
16 of the last 19 matchups.
Florida has lost 19 of 23 to the Phillies at home but will
likely carry some momentum from its latest series as it opens a
seven-game stretch at Sun Life Stadium.
The Marlins sit in last place in the NL East but wrapped up
their recently completed nine-game trip by taking four of five,
including back-to-back wins over Texas. After matching its highest
run total of the year during Saturday’s 9-5 victory, Florida
prevailed 6-4 on Sunday in its first come-from-behind win since
Jack McKeon took over as interim manager June 20.
“We’re playing with a lot more energy,” McKeon said. The guys
are feeling happy and they’re enjoying themselves, having fun and
playing relaxed. Everybody’s filling in for each other. That might
be the turning point of the season, who knows?”
Strong starting pitching hasn’t been a common trend for the
Marlins, whose rotation ranks in the bottom third of baseball with
a 4.26 ERA. Florida’s rotation, however, has been much better of
late, allowing two runs or less in 10 of 13 games.
Ricky Nolasco (5-4, 4.08) has compiled a 1.69 ERA over two
outings during that stretch – a complete turnaround from the 8.20
mark he posted over his previous five starts.
The right-hander, who threw a five-hitter in Wednesday’s 3-0 win
at Oakland, has been very good against Philadelphia, going 5-1 with
a 2.75 ERA in eight meetings since 2008.