Phillies-Red Sox 5 Things: Ben Lively's 1st Real Test? - NBC 10 Philadelphia

Phillies-Red Sox 5 Things: Ben Lively's 1st Real Test?



    Phillies-Red Sox 5 Things: Ben Lively's 1st Real Test?
    Phillies-Red Sox 5 things: Ben Lively's 1st real test?

    Phillies (21-41) at Red Sox (35-28)
    7:10 p.m. on CSN/ and NBC Sports App; Pregame Live begins at 6:30.

    Another night and another loss for the Phillies.

    The Phillies failed to protect two leads Monday night before losing, 6-5, to the Boston Red Sox in 11 innings at Fenway Park. The losing streak is now at six games.

    On tonight, the Phillies have another try at snapping their skid. This time, they'll face David Price in the second game of a home-and-home interleague series with Boston.

    Wednesday, the series comes to Philadelphia, but before the Phils come back home, let's take a closer look at tonight's ballgame.

    1. Frustrations growing
    With Monday's loss, the Phillies are now 20 games under .500.

    In comparison to last season, through 62 games, the Phils were just four games below .500.


    What made Monday's defeat frustrating was the Phillies' inability to protect a four-run lead and then another one-run lead. The Phils spotted starter Jerad Eickhoff an early 4-0 lead but the right-hander was not able to protect the lead. Boston tied it in the fourth.

    The Phillies then took a 5-4 lead in the fifth inning, but Joaquin Benoit, making his second appearance since returning from the disabled list, was tagged for a homer in the eighth inning. He's now allowed three runs on five hits in 1 2/3 innings since returning.

    "I think everybody's frustrated," Pete Mackanin said before Monday's loss. "When you have a team that's losing, everybody should be frustrated for one reason or another. I'm staying positive, but it's frustrating to lose. So I hope everybody else is."

    They're now 9-27 on the road this season - still the worst in MLB.

    2. Another opportunity to impress
    If there have been any bright spots in the last couple of weeks for the Phillies, it's been 25-year-old right-hander Ben Lively.

    The Phillies turn to Lively tonight to end their skid. He has two major-league starts under his belt, both impressive outings but didn't come against top competition.

    Atlanta and San Francisco don't exactly strike fear into pitchers. Tonight, Lively will face an American League lineup with a designated hitter in Boston. This will be a test.

    Lively has gone seven innings in both of his starts with the Phillies, and while he hasn't displayed overpowering stuff, he's shown the ability to keep the ball down and get outs.

    The innings are welcomed, too. It's June 13 and through 62 games, the Phillies have had a starter pitch seven or more innings just 11 times - and two have come from Lively.

    Lively's allowed four runs in 14 innings, walking five and striking out just three batters. Despite allowing 18 baserunners (13 hits, five walks), he's been able to escape damage. He's a four-pitcher pitcher with a fastball, slider, curveball and changeup. Tonight should offer his first real big-league test, so that's something to watch.

    3. The Price is … all right?
    Price will make his fourth start of the season Tuesday night after missing the first two months of the season with a left elbow strain but his first of the year at Fenway Park.

    His first two starts went smoothly. He picked up a no decision in his first start, allowing three runs on two hits in five innings against the White Sox on May 29. In his second outing, he went seven innings, yielding just one run on three hits in a 5-2 win over the Baltimore Orioles on June 3. His last start, however, did not go well.

    Price was tagged for six runs on eight hits and four walks over five innings in a 9-1 loss to the Yankees last Wednesday in New York. After the game, he had an exchange with's Evan Drellich outside the Red Sox clubhouse about how he's been treated by the Boston media.

    Tonight offers the first chance for Price to pitch in front of the Red Sox faithful. He'll do so against a Phillies team that's averaged 2.33 runs during its six-game losing streak. In two career starts against the Phillies, the left-hander is 1-1 with a 4.76 ERA. He was 9-3 with a 4.11 ERA last season at Fenway and has a 3.26 ERA lifetime at the storied park.

    4. Players to watch
    Phillies: Remember the early-season struggles for Tommy Joseph? We don't blame you if you don't. The first baseman continues to hit well and he collected two more knocks Monday night, including a two-run single in the first inning. He's hitting .295 with nine homers and 25 RBIs since May 1 after hitting just .179 with one homer and seven RBIs in April. He's surprisingly hit righties better than lefties this season, however. Against LHPs, Joseph is hitting .180 with five homers and 10 RBIs in 50 at-bats. He'll face one tonight. He's hitting .257 with 10 home runs and 32 RBIs on the season. He's never faced Price.

    Red Sox:Andrew Benintendi, who Baseball America compared Phillies first-round pick Adam Haseley to, was 3 for 5 with a solo homer and an RBI single Monday night against the Phillies. The 22-year-old is hitting .274 with nine HRs and 36 RBIs this season. He's 11 for 35 (.314) in June with four homers and nine RBIs. 

    5. This and that
    • Current Phillies are 9 for 67 against in 57 at-bats against Price with 22 strikeouts. Howie Kendrick is 6 for 30, while Daniel Nava has just two hits in 20 at-bats vs. Price.

    • Kendrick on Monday became the first Phillie to steal three bags in one game since Ben Revere did so in an 8-7 win over the New York Mets on June 22, 2013. (H/t to the Inquirer's Matt Gelb.)

    • The Phillies are now 12-30 against the Red Sox since 2004 and have lost 10 of their last 12 games at Fenway Park.

    • The Phillies have had just 21 quality starts this season, second-worse in MLB to the Miami Marlins (19). Boston has 34 quality starts, fourth-best in the majors.