Phils, Figueroa, Hoping to Rebound

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dbacksThe Philadelphia Phillies (10-6) face the Arizona Diamondbacks (7-9). Nelson Figueroa (1-1, 4.25) starts vs. Ian Kennedy (0-1, 5.65).

Due to last night's poor outing from Cole Hamels, the Phillies dropped the series opener to the Diamondbacks. The Phillies lost the first game of the Atlanta series, but faught back to take the series, 2-1. The Phillies are hoping for a similar outcome in Arizona.

With J.A Happ on the disabled list, Nelson Figueroa will make a spot start in his hometown. Instead of calling up a minor league pitcher, the Phillies opted to pitch Figueroa, who was claimed off waivers from the New York Mets this April. Figueroa has pitched well out of the bullpen this season, but his career numbers against Arizona are ugly. (Figueroa is 0-2 with an 8.68 ERA against the Diamondbacks. Mark Reynolds is 2-for-2 against him; both are home runs).

Figueroa will be opposed by Ian Kennedy, who was acquired in a three-way trade with the Diamondbacks, Yankees, and Tigers. Kennedy was a highly touted prospect in the Yankees organization, but has yet to live up to expectations. Due to high pitch counts, Kennedy has yet to make it through five innings, although he didn't allow a run in his last start against the Padres.

It's always unsure what the Diamondbacks will get out of Kennedy. He could pitch to his potential, or get rocked. The Phillies will have work to be patient and work the count. The Phillies offense hasn't been scoring as many runs as they were in the first two weeks of the season, and they could use a lift. Excluding Thursday's win, the Phillies have scored a total of ten runs in five games -- which is low for the numbers they're used to putting up.


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