Cincinnati Reds (49-37) at Philadelphia Phillies (43-40)
Johnny Cueto (8-2, 3.56) vs Kyle Kendrick (5-3, 4.70)
Time: 7:05, Citizens Bank Park
Weather: Partly Cloudy 86
TV: Comcast SportsNet
Well that could have been better. Going into an essential series against the division leading Braves, the Phillies were looking to narrow the gap between themselves and tops of the NL East. Three games, and two losses later, the Phils find themselves six games back from Atlanta and not catching any breaks in their next opponent.
The Reds come into town for a four game series that leads right up to the All Star break. Without a strong showing in these next four games, it will be a welcomed break for both players and fans alike.
The Reds are a familiar foe to our Phightins. Ryan Howard and company closed out June losing two of three against Cincinnati at Great American Ball Park. Tonight will feature Johnny Cueto and Kyle Kendrick toeing the rubber for their respective sides. When these two pitchers met June 28, Cueto bettered Kendrick limiting the Philly bats to one run and six hits over eight innings.
Kendrick yielded six runs and eight hits while working into the seventh inning taking the loss. However, Kendrick is coming off his first career complete game beating the Pirates 12-4 scattering 10 hits while throwing 115 pitches. Throughout this season, he has been notoriously efficient to start the game before imploding for one inning, a la Jamie Moyer last night. With the way the Phillies’ offense has started to sputter of late, he will have to try and avoid the big inning.
With JA Happ most likely seeing more time in the minors, Kendrick’s spot is safe for now. But every start until the end of July could be his audition to stay in the rotation. On a bullpen note, Ryan Madson has been activated from the DL and reliever Mike Zagurski has been sent down to Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
Your game day beer: Miller High Life
The Phillies need to stick to the basics and remember what it’s like to win again. The basics for me is Miller High Life. It reminds me of cool beach breezes and backyard barbecues. Hopefully it will remind the Phillies how to put crooked numbers up on the score board.