The Philadelphia Phillies and Cincinnati Reds are scuffling at
the plate, and the weather didn’t help either team from beginning
to solve those issues.
That may be the case again.
With more rain in the forecast in Cincinnati, the Phillies and
Reds will first complete the middle game of this series before
finishing it off later Wednesday night.
Philadelphia (6-7) is hitting .240 while averaging 3.8 runs on
the season, while Cincinnati (6-7) isn’t much better with a .247
season average and 3.0 runs per game during a 1-5 stretch. That
includes a 4-2 win for the Reds in Monday’s opener.
Those struggles were on display Tuesday, when both teams
mustered two hits each before rain caused umpires to suspend the
game with no score in the middle of the ninth.
The game will be picked up at the same point on Wednesday at
5:30 p.m., before the teams play the finale of their series no
earlier than 7:10 p.m.
Since Phillies reliever Phillippe Aumont was warming up to start
the bottom of the ninth, he’ll have to face at least one batter and
shortstop Zack Cozart – who had one of Cincinnati’s hits – was due
“It’ll be strange getting the first at-bat at home,” Dusty Baker
said. “I hope we win it before we get there (the 10th inning). It
doesn’t matter. They’ve got the heart of their lineup coming up.
We’re starting off even.”
That may not matter since the Phillies have been held to three
runs or fewer while splitting the first four games of this six-game
trip, while going 4 for 21 with runners in scoring position over
the past three contests.
“We haven’t hit on this road trip,” manager Charlie Manuel said.
“Right now, we’re hanging on a zero. We’ll see if we can beat it
Michael Young continues to be one of Philadelphia’s rare bright
spots at the plate, leading the team with a .354 average. He’s
batting .435 during a seven-game hitting streak, which was extended
John Lannan (0-0, 2.77 ERA) knows all about the offense’s
shortcomings, and he’s scheduled to start the second game. The
left-hander has been backed by two total runs over his first two
starts, despite solid performances.
He pitched well enough to win at Miami on Friday, yielding one
run and three singles in six innings of a 3-1 victory in 10.
Lannan is 1-0 with a 3.86 ERA in four starts against the Reds,
but hasn’t faced them since a visit to Cincinnati in 2009.
The Reds are expected to counter with Mike Leake (0-0, 6.75),
and he’s struggled greatly against the Phillies. The right-hander
is 0-3 with a 9.33 ERA in five career starts against them, and the
most recent was one of the shortest of his three-plus years in the
Leake was tagged for six runs and six hits, with two leaving the
park in 2 1-3 innings of a 6-2 home defeat on Sept. 5.
He struggled early at Pittsburgh on Friday, surrendering five
runs and seven hits, while hitting a batter in the first two
innings. He then settled down and tossed four scoreless and didn’t
get a decision in a 6-5 loss.
Ryan Howard has pounded Leake, going 6 for 12 with two homers,
but he’s 0 for 7 so far in this series. He owns a .226 career
average in Cincinnati, and is 2 for 18 with five strikeouts in the
last five games there.