The Philadelphia Phillies began their series against the New York Mets with great promise, but ended up falling short in the final two contests of the three-game sweep. They will look to turn things around once again against the Cincinnati Reds this week as the two clubs face off in a relatively uneven series.
The Reds are 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 is 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 far different than the one the Phillies would have faced a few months ago. Cincy sent away its two best starters in Luis Castillo and Tyler Male, as well as its best bat in Brandon Drury before the trade deadline.
Armed now with a weaker lineup, rotation and bullpen, the Reds are 3-7 in their last 10 games. The Phillies will try to get a win against the sliding club.
First Game: Monday, 6:40pm – NBCSP | RHP Noah Syndergaard vs. LHP Mike Minor
Mike Minor has been a terrible hitter in 2022. The slugger posted a 1.56 WHIP in 62 innings of work that season, and his 6.24 ERA is among the worst in the major leagues. The Phillies have plenty of righties in the lineup who will look to attack Minor’s weak stuff, including former Reds outfielder Nick Castellanos.
The Phillies have been dealing with Noah Syndergaard since he first donned the red stripes. The right-hander now uses his sinker as his primary pitch and turns to a hard slider/cutter as his secondary while using his curveball as his primary “out” pitch. That served him well in his last outing, when “Thor” threw six strong innings of two-run baseball against Miami and really got going over his last three or so innings. Monday will be an interesting test for him.
Second leg: Tuesday, 6:40 p.m. – NBCSP | RHP Kyle Gibson vs. RHP TJ Zeuch
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Zeuch showed around as a Quad-A starter and was claimed by the Reds after the St. Louis Cardinals designated him for assignment in late May. The tall right-hander has a decent fastball, averaging around 94 mph, but overall lackluster stuff. He has been extremely successful in both the majors and minors this year, totaling 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 gone 14 innings this month and has allowed just three earned runs, lowering his season ERA to 4.29. He was an ideal fifth starter for this Phillies rotation and provided meaningful innings for the club.
Game 3: Wednesday, 12:35 p.m. – NBCSP | LHP Ranger Suarez vs. LHP Nick Lodolo
A very promising lefty rookie, Nick Lodolo could be a challenge for the Phillies’ lineup. The 24-year-old has finally started to find his footing at the MLB level, throwing to a 3.38 ERA over his last four starts. Control has been an issue for the youngster, but he has shown flashes of excellence in his first three months in the majors. He is the toughest pitcher they will face in this series.
Unfortunately for Lodolo, he’s set to face 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 impressive for the Phillies down the stretch and will look to continue his success in Wednesday’s matinee.
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