PHI: 83-46, 1st in NL East; CIN: 67-66, 3rd in NL Central
When: August 29-September 1
Where: Great American Ballpark (Cincy, OH)
Monday: Cole Hamels (13-7, 2.62) vs Homer Bailey (7-5, 4.44)
Tuesday: Roy Halladay (15-5, 2.56) vs Bronson Arroyo (8-10, 5.02)
Wednesday: Cliff Lee (14-7, 2.71) vs Dontrelle Willis (0-3, 4.10)
Thursday: Vance Worley (9-1, 2.65) vs Mike Leake (11-8, 4.04)
Monday, 7:10, CSN
Tuesday, 7:10, PHL 17
Wednesday, 7:10, CSN
Thursday, 12:35, CSN
All Games on 1210 AM
Player to Watch – Joey Votto: Votto is coming into this series hot off a walk-off homer in a 14-inning marathon with Washington last night. It’s that type of clutch that not only has made Votto last year’s MVP but has made him one of the top hitters in all of baseball.
Votto is enjoying another campaign that has quietly catapulted him into MVP talks. He’s hitting .325 with 26 homers and 86 RBIs but with Cincinnati’s awful season, Votto’s name may slip through the cracks this year.
Series Overview: The Phillies are about to begin a grueling 33 games in 31 days. It starts in Cincinnati against a Reds team that has fallen out of playoff contention. The last time the Phils were in Cincy, Cole Hamels pitched a complete game shut out and fist-pumped his way off the mound as the Phillies swept the Reds in the NLDS.
Cincy has gotten it’s offensive power from two sources this season. Jay Bruce is toe-to-toe with Votto in homers (28) and RBIs (85) but is not as great a hitter Votto is (.265 average). That being said, Bruce crushed the Phillies in their May series, going 9-for-21 (.429) with a double, three homers and 11 RBIs.
That was also the same series that Wilson Valdez got the winning decision in a 19-inning game that lasted until 1 AM. The Phils wound up winning that four-game set 3-1.
The big story for the Phils this series lies on pitching – and it has nothing to do with how good it is. Cole Hamels is making his return start from the DL. The left-hander hasn’t pitched since August 12 due to inflamation in his left shoulder. Hamels is optimistic that it won’t affect him the rest of the season as he said he was fine when he threw his bull pen session a few days ago.