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Smyly gets the ball in Labor Day matinee against Cincinnati


Drew Smyly posed an ugly 7.20 ERA in the month of August. (Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire)

The Philadelphia Phillies (70-65) have a tough turnaround to deal with. After Scott Kingery came up with one of the biggest hits of the season to beat the Mets on Sunday Night Baseball in Philadelphia, the team boarded a chartered flight to Cincinnati where they’ll begin a four-game set against the Reds on Labor Day.

The team surely will be running short on sleep. However the Phillies may be the least tired team out of the two. The Reds split a day-night doubleheader against the Cardinals in St. Louis on Sunday. That’s good news for the Phillies as they’ll need every advantage they could get in the final month of the season. They sit 2.5 games behind the Chicago Cubs for the final NL Wild Card spot and have had their struggles as of recently against subpar teams. This will be the last time the Phillies will face a team with a losing record until the very last weekend of the regular season when they host the Miami Marlins at Citizens Bank Park.

Drew Smyly will take the mound in hopes of putting a tough month of baseball behind him. He went 0-1 with a 7.10 FIP, giving up 20 earned runs on 32 hits in an abysmal month of August. He was terrific in his first two outings as a Phillie, only giving up one earned run in 13 innings. Smyly hopes to earn his first quality start since July 30. The Reds will send Anthony DeSclafani to the mound. He has allowed no more than an earned run in each of his last three starts.

Here’s everything you need to know for today’s Labor Day matchup…

Reds Lineup

  1. Nick Senzel, center field
  2. Joey Votto, first base
  3. Phillip Ervin, left field
  4. Aristides Aquino, right field
  5. José Iglesias, short stop
  6. Curt Casali, catcher
  7. Kyle Farmer, third base
  8. Anthony DeSclafani, pitcher
  9. Alex Blandino, second base

Phillies Lineup

  1. Corey Dickerson, left field
  2. Brad Miller, third base
  3. Bryce Harper, right field
  4. Rhys Hoskins, first base
  5. César Hernández, second base
  6. Scott Kingery, short stop
  7. Adam Haseley, center field
  8. Andrew Knapp, catcher
  9. Drew Smyly, pitcher

Shibe Vintage Sports Starting Pitching Matchup

  • Drew Smyly (2-6, 6.95 ERA, 6.89 FIP, 5.56 xFIP) vs. Anthony DeSclafani (9-7, 4.05 ERA, 4.54 FIP, 4.34 xFIP)
  • Smyly recorded a nine-out save in June against the Reds as a member of the Texas Rangers. His only other outing against the Reds came in 2016 where he gave up three earned runs in three innings of work.
  • DeSclafani is 3-1 with a 5.40 ERA agains the Phillies in his career. His last start against Philadelphia came in 2018. He pitched four and a third innings, allowing three earned runs while striking out seven.

Pregame Phillies Nuggets

  • The Phillies made a few roster moves on expansion day. Utility infielder Phil Gosselin, catcher Deivy Grullon, and pitcher Nick Vincent were added to the 40-man roster and will report to the big club. Cole Irvin was recalled from Triple-A and Jay Bryce was re-instated from the 10-day IL. Pitcher Drew Anderson was designated for assignment and Jerad Eickhoff was transferred to the 60-day IL, effectively ending his season.
  • Jean Segura was in the lineup on Sunday, but was scratched before the game after learning of the passing of his grandmother, who he was very close with. He is currently back home in the Dominican Republic to be with his family.
  • Bryce Harper is slashing .319/.385/.629 with three home runs and seven RBIs during his nine-game hitting streak. Harper is also looking to become the first Phillies player since Jim Thome to hit 30 HRs and drive in 100 RBIs in his first season in pinstripes. He currently sits at 29 HRs and 97 RBIs.
  • Corey Dickerson has the third most RBIs through his first 25 games with the club. In 24 games, he has 25 RBIs, trailing Lefty O’Doul (26 in 1929) and teammate Rhys Hoskins (27 in 2017) in that category.
  • As mentioned on Sunday Night Baseball the previous night, Hoskins is second in the league only to Will Smith of the Los Angeles Dodgers in average launch angle. Hoskins is hitting the ball about 12 degrees higher than this year’s league average as Hoskins average launch angle is 25.2 degrees while the league average so far is 12.42 degrees. The metric isn’t an indicator of how good a hitter is or isn’t. It is just a fancier way of saying that Hoskins tends to hit more fly balls and pops ups relative to other hitters in the league. To put into perspective, Jay Bruce is seventh in the league with a 22.5 degree average launch angle and Scott Kingery ranks 67th at 17.6 degrees. The two leading MVP candidates, Mike Trout and Cody Bellinger, rank ninth and 68th respectively.

Ticket IQ Programming Information

  • 2:10 at Great American Ballpark
  • NBC Sports Philadelphia 
  • Sportsradio 94 WIPWTTM 1680 (Spanish)

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