The Cincinnati Reds are the next team to try and capitalise on a struggling Phillies side. They roll into Citizens Bank Park with a 22-27 record but they will be hoping Johnny Cueto starts to fly again after missing his past two starts..does this mean the Phillies have a chance?
Cueto went 1-2 with a 4.45 ERA in his four most recent games, bringing his season mark up from 1.95. However, the right hander hasn’t started since May 19th where he gave up three runs and a season record nine hits over just seven innings in a 3-0 loss at Kansas City.
The Reds have been on a season turnaround recently after scoring 21 runs in their three-game sweep of Washington then winning four of their last five..not bad coming off of nine straight losses. But, like the Phils, Cincinnati struggle when it comes to conversion. The team scored two runs or fewer a whopping six times during the losing streak. On top of that, The Reds are still looking to end a seven-game road losing streak, one in which they have scored just twelve runs.
Philadelphia (now 19-33) on the other hand has dropped to a season-worst seven consecutive losses. The number seven seems to be featured a lot lately, the Phils have gone 7 for 48 with runners in scoring position with the bullpen also providing next to no productivity, giving up 12 runs over 19 innings.
Starting pitcher Sean O’Sullivan enters the game following a rough 7-0 loss against the New York Mets..giving up all seven runs along with eleven hits in only five innings. Not only that, O’Sullivan surrendered a huge four homers, one less than what he combined for in his opening four games.
The Reds have been on fire when it comes to home runs..home being the operative word. Seven home runs in their last four games is great, though they’ve found only one in their last seven on the road.
One major name to watch out for in this series will be Cincinnati’s Jay Bruce. Bruce has seven home runs and 17 RBIs against Philly and also carries a 14-game hitting streak. Hitting .378 over his last 13 contests overall, pitching is going to have to be pinpoint precise tonight to avoid further runs being scored.
One plus note however is that The Phillies have won 19 of the last 26 games in Philadelphia against the side since the start of the 2008 season. Whilst they do have to travel to face the Reds in a three game away series next week, any homefield advantage and W’s they can pick up now will be more than appreciated.