The real disparity between his seasons lies at home. Last year, Lee was 11-3 with a 1.94 ERA in 18 home starts. This year, he is 0-4 with a 4.53 ERA in eight starts. Hitters are still striking out and walking at about the same rate. The ball just seems to be traveling farther when they do make contact. Last year, Lee held opponents to a .301 slugging percentage and eight home runs. Heading into Sunday, he had allowed a .465 slugging percentage. After Sunday's game, he had allowed 12 home runs at home.
On Sunday, Lee allowed back-to-back home runs in the second inning - a two-run shot by Chris Johnson and a solo one by Stephen Drew - before giving up Paul Goldschmidt's go-ahead bomb in the sixth.
Lee, who has allowed six home runs in 11 road starts, is not the only Phillies starter who has struggled at Citizens Bank Park.
Vance Worley has allowed seven home runs in 201 at-bats at home, where opponents have posted an .827 OPS, compared with four home runs in 216 at-bats on the road, where opponents have posted a .717 OPS. Before Joe Blanton was traded, the righthander allowed 14 home runs in 266 home at-bats and eight home runs in 264 road at-bats.
Only Cole Hamels and Roy Halladay have avoided such drastic home/road splits.
Through 53 games, Citizens Bank Park has yielded 113 home runs, a 172-home-run pace. Last year, the park yielded 129 homers.
The Phillies have yet to announce a starter for Wednesday's game against the Braves. Although Kyle Kendrick, who took Joe Blanton's place when the righthander was traded to the Dodgers on Friday, threw a bullpen session Sunday, Triple A righthander Tyler Cloyd is a possibility. The 25-year-old starter is 14-1 with a 1.91 ERA, 76 strikeouts, 27 walks and a solid ground-ball rate in 141 1/3 innings at Lehigh Valley and Double A Reading.
For the first time since late May, Jimmy Rollins' name was not in the starting lineup. The shortstop, who entered the day in an 0-for-11 minislump, had started each of the last 62 games, dating back to the three games he missed while on paternity leave. During that 62-game stretch, Rollins hit .257 with a .311 on-base percentage, .794 OPS and 11 home runs in 286 plate appearances.
Charlie Manuel said he just wanted to get the 33-year-old switch-hitter a day off. Rollins popped out as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning Sunday.
With their focus trained on the future, the Phillies released veteran utility man Mike Fontenot . . . The Phillies enter Monday's start of a three-game series against the Braves having lost seven of their nine games against Atlanta this season.
Contact David Murphy at firstname.lastname@example.org