The Philadelphia Phillies started their series against the New York Mets with great promise, but ultimately fell short in the final two contests of the three-game sweep. They’ll look to turn things around once again against the Cincinnati Reds this week as the two clubs square off in what should be a relatively slow series.
The Reds have been one of the worst clubs in baseball this season, and the Phillies will see them a total of seven times in August. Their 45-68 record ranks third worst in the National League.
This is the first time these two clubs have met all season, but this iteration of the Reds is much different than what the Phillies would have faced a few months ago. Cincy sent away their two best starters in Luis Castillo and Tyler Mahle as well as their best bat in Brandon Drury before the trade deadline.
Now armed with a weaker lineup, rotation and bullpen, the Reds are 3-7 in their last 10 games. The Phillies will look to take advantage against the sliding club.
Game 1: Monday, 6:40 p.m. – NBCSP | RHP Noah Syndergaard vs LHP Mike Minor
Mike Minor has been extremely hittable in 2022. The southpaw has posted a 1.56 WHIP in 62 innings of work this season, and his 6.24 ERA is among the worst in the major leagues. There are a number of strong righties in the Phillies lineup who will look to prey on Minor’s weaknesses, including former Reds outfielder Nick Castellanos.
The Phillies have messed with Noah Syndergaard since he first donned red armbands. The right-hander is now using his sinker as his primary pitch, and is reverting to a hard slider/cutter as his secondary pitch, while using his curveball as his primary “outside” pitch. It served him well in his last outing, as “Thor” threw six strong innings of two-run baseball against Miami, and really started to break through in his last three or so innings. Monday will serve as an interesting test for him.
Game 2: Tuesday, 6:40 p.m. – NBCSP | RHP Kyle Gibson vs. RHP TJ Zeuch
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Zeuch bounced around as a four-A rookie and was claimed by the Reds after the St. Louis appointed him to duty at the end of May. The tall righty has a decent fastball, averaging around 94 miles per hour, but boasts less-than-great stuff overall. He has been extremely hittable in both the majors and minors this year, posting a 1.77 WHIP in 13 triple-A starts this season.
Kyle Gibson is fresh off two very good outings in his first two starts in August. The 34-year-old has pitched 14 times this month and allowed just three earned runs, lowering his season ERA to 4.29. He has been an ideal fifth starter for this Phillies rotation and has provided significant results for the club.
Game Three: Wednesday, 12:35 p.m. – NBCSP | LHP Ranger Suarez vs. LHP Nick Lodolo
A very promising rookie, Nick Lodolo could present a challenge for the Phillies lineup. The 24-year-old is finally starting to find his footing at the MLB level, posting a 3.38 ERA over his last four starts. Control has been an issue for the youngster, but he has shown flashes of brilliance during his first three months in the big leagues. He is easily the toughest catcher they will face in this series.
Unfortunately for Lodolo, he will be facing one of the Phillies’ hottest arms in Ranger Suarez. Over his last 11 starts, the southpaw has allowed more than three runs on just one occasion, and has posted 63.2 innings of 2.69 ERA baseball in that span, allowing a 1.19 WHIP as well as a paltry .644 opponent OPS.
Suarez has been spectacular for the Phillies in the field and will look to continue his success in Wednesday’s game.
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