The Rockies hope Pomeranz continues his recent streak of success when they go for the series win against the Phillies on Sunday at Coors Field. He'll oppose All-Star left-hander Cole Hamels (10-4, 3.20).
Pomeranz (1-3, 3.06) went 1-1 and allowed just one unearned run in his last two starts. Over the combined 12 1/3 innings, the southpaw surrendered just three hits. His two good starts came after spending most of May and all of June in Triple-A.
"I see not only a different pitcher right now, but I also see a different person, and that's just as important as the physical aspects that we talk about at length," Colorado manager Jim Tracy said after Pomeranz's last start, a win over the Nationals. "The person is completely different from the guy we were dealing with in Spring Training. He has a different face, he has a different demeanor, his business-like approach has changed."
The opposition will trot out a more proven lefty in Hamels, the subject of much speculation before the Trade Deadline at the end of the month. The three-time All-Star will try to help the Phillies accomplish something that has eluded them since the last time they played the Rockies (June 19-21) -- a series win. Losers of 12 of their last 14 including Saturday's 8-5 win, the Phillies are 38-51 and 14 games behind the first-place Nationals.
They have also lost eight straight Sunday games and are 3-12 on Sunday for the season.
Chase Utley and Ryan Howard may not be in the lineup for the series finale. The Phillies have typically been resting Utley and Howard one out of every three games since they both returned from injuries.
"Right now it's two on, one [day off]," manager Charlie Manuel said before Saturday's game. "But I want to build it up to three and four and then turn them loose. I'll always give them a break during the week, but I'd like to get them as many games as possible."
Phillies: Halladay still on track to return Tuesday
Phillies ace Roy Halladay threw a bullpen session on Saturday and is still on track to make his return Tuesday against the Dodgers, pitching coach Rich Dubee said.
"I felt good," said Halladay, who went on the disabled list with a strained right latissimus dorsi on May 28.
Halladay (4-5, 3.98) will be on a pitch count on Tuesday, but Dubee would not disclose the exact number.
"He looked fine," Dubee said of the two-time Cy Young Award winner. "Some rust, some inconsistencies. But arm-wise, he's feeling a lot better than he has in a long time. He's getting back to getting on the mound."
Playing first base for the first time in his rehab assignment on Saturday, Laynce Nix went 0-for-3 with a fielding error for Class A Clearwater. Nix, who has been on the disabled list with a left calf strain since May 10, was lifted after five innings in the field. It was his third rehab game.
Rockies: Cortisone shot helps Helton
First baseman Todd Helton said he "felt a whole lot better" after receiving a cortisone shot in his inflamed right hip on Friday.
Helton was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Friday. The Rockies' veteran will start exercising on Sunday, working his way up to resuming baseball activities. He's hitting .235 with seven homers and 34 RBIs.
Shortstop Josh Rutledge, who went 2-for-2 with two RBIs in his Major League Debut on Friday, went 0-for-3 with a walk and a run scored in Saturday's loss.
Sunday will be Pomeranz's first career start against the Phillies.
In four career regular-season starts against the Rockies, Hamels is 2-1 with a 4.21 ERA. He is 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA against Colorado this season.
Phillies center fielder Shane Victorino collected two extra-base hits -- a double and a triple -- in Saturday's win. It was a big performance for Victorino after he had not tallied an extra-base hit in a month.