Five facts and/or observations heading into the 12-14 Phillies' game against the Indians tonight. . .
1) Ryan Howard has gone 14 straight games without a walk, tied for the longest single-season stretch of his career. The only other time he did not draw a walk in this long of a stretch was in 2006. Howard does have five extra base hits in his last 23 plate appearances after tallying just five in his first 74 plate appearances of the season. But he has just three walks in 97 plate appearances on the season. Only fourth other players in the majors have as few walks in as many plate appearances as Howard: Ian Desmond (3 in 103), Starlin Castro (3 in 110), Alfonso Soriano (3 in 101) and Allen Craig (3 in 98).
2) Of the 98 runs the Phillies have scored this season, 21 have come against three Mets pitchers: Dillon Gee, Jeremy Hefner and Robert Carson. That's 21 percent of their scoring on the season in only 13 innings. In fact, in their six games against the Mets, the Phillies have scored 35 runs, compared with 55 in their other 20 games. The Phillies are 7-2 against the two teams with losing records that they have played (Mets and the Marlins) and 5-12 against winning teams (Royals, Reds, Pirates, Cardinals).
3) Cole Hamels is set for a rematch with Marlins rookie righthander Jose Fernandez on Saturday. The last time the two met, Fernandez held the Phillies to two hits and two walks with five strikeouts in six innings of work while Hamels held the Marlins to three hits and three walks with five strikeouts in six innings. Since facing the Phillies, the 20-year-old Fernandez has struggled with his command, walking eight against 10 strikeouts while allowing 11 earned runs in 13 innings over three starts.
4) Your National League co-leaders in walks with 17 apiece? Cole Hamels and Tim Lincecum. Last year, Hamels walked his 17th batter on June 7.
5) The Phillies are 8-4 in games in which they score at least four runs, and 10-6 in games in which they score at least three runs. They are sitting at 12-14 because they have score fewer than three runs in 10 of their 26 games, and they are just 2-8 in those games.