Diamondbacks-Phillies preview: Miller returns to rotation
PHILADELPHIA -- The Diamondbacks are continuing to enjoy each other's company more on the road than at home, and today they hope the good feelings carry over to struggling starting pitcher Shelby Miller, who rejoins the rotation following a stint on the disabled list with a sprained finger on his pitching hand.
Miller (1-6, 7.09) made two successful rehab appearances for Advanced-A Visalia. He takes the mound trying to give the D-backs a four-game sweep in Philadelphia, where they hadn't won a series since 2007.
The game can be seen on FOX Sports Arizona and FOX Sports GO, beginning at 9:30 a.m.
"The guys are really bearing down and playing," said manager Chip Hale. "We're getting good starting pitching. The hitters are comfortable. Everything is clicking right now."
It clicked Sunday with starting pitcher Archie Bradley, who allowed one unearned run, gave up three hits and struck out five in six innings of a 5-1 Arizona victory.
He got out of a crucial, bases-loaded, no-out jam in the sixth inning, only allowing one run after a key double play.
"That was a huge point in the game for Archie to pick up our defense," Hale said. "Best thing you can do there is get a double play and, sure enough, he got it. That's the pitcher picking up the defense, which is a huge part of being a good team."
Lately, the Diamondbacks are looking like exactly that. They will be looking for a big comeback outing from Miller on Monday.
Miller goes up against a Phillies offense that hasn't produced much of anything lately.
"It's something we have to find how to get out of," said Phillies catcher Cameron Rupp. "It's part of the game. At some point it seems like every team will go through this. We're just in the middle of a bad rut. But we've got to come out tomorrow, keep battling and go from there."
Philadelphia has lost six in a row and 10 of its last 11. Philadelphia Phillies manager Pete Mackanin is trying everything he possibly can to get his offense going.
Saturday, he moved slugger Maikel Franco into the sixth spot in the batting order. He was there again Sunday but went hitless and has now gone hitless in his last 16 at-bats.
Mackanin has tried benching second baseman Cesar Hernandez, putting Andres Blanco into the lineup, slotting his best hitter, Odubel Herrera, third instead of leadoff.
Nothing has worked.
"We need some professional at-bats," Mackanin said.
"I just saw where Atlanta won their fifth game in a row. As bad as they've been playing... At some point, we're going to snap out of this. We'll be fine. It might be tomorrow. It might be on the road. I'm anticipating us to improve."
The Phillies will start right-hander Jeremy Hellickson (4-5, 4.46 ERA), who spent last season with the D-backs.