Monday, August 20, 2012

10 notes about the Phillies series

After a successful 5-2 homestand, the Reds (74-48) head north to a place where they have struggled in season's past, The City of Brotherly Love. It is there that will be welcomed to Citizens Bank Park by the fourth-place Phillies (56-65), who are turning in a very disappointing campaign. Picked by many to win the NL East in the preseason, the Fightin' Phils have not lived up to expectations in 2012, not in the least bit.

Entering Monday, they trailed the front-running Washington Nationals by a whopping 18.5 games and the Atlanta Braves by 10.5 games in the Wild Card. Simply put, Charlie Manuel's club is looking for anything to salvage what has been a lost season and they'll undoubtedly aim to slow down the red-hot Reds to accomplish that.

Here are 10 notes you need to know regarding the 4-game set:

1. The series will take place Monday thru Thursday and all games are slated to begin at approximately 7:05et.

2. Here are the pitching probables:

Mon: CIN Mike Leake (5-7, 4.29) vs PHI Roy Halladay (6-7, 3.80)
Tue: CIN Homer Bailey (10-8, 4.16) vs PHI Cliff Lee (2-7, 3.83)
Wed: CIN Bronson Arroyo (9-7, 3.96) vs PHI Vance Worley (6-8, 4.11)
Thurs: CIN Johnny Cueto (16-6, 2.44) vs PHI Cole Hamels (14-6, 2.94)

3. The series will mark the first meeting between the interdivision foes in 2012. Philadelphia was 7-1 against Cincy in last year's meetings.

4. Cincinnati is 4-15 at Citizens Bank Park since 2006, including 0-4 last season.

5. The Phillies have been outscored 533-496 (-37) in '12. On the contrary, the Reds have outscored opponents 532-452 (+80).

6. Despite being nine games under .500, the Phils have fared well against the NL Central. They're 19-10 record is evidence of that.

7. Cincy has won eight of their last 10. Furthermore, they own the best record in MLB (27-10) since the All-Star Break.

8. Ryan Ludwick has been sizzling during the second half. He's hitting .333/.395/.769 with 13 HR, 35 RBI and 22 runs scored since the All-Star Break. His season total of 25 HR ranks third in the NL.

9. The Reds will once again be without the services of Joey Votto. The All-Star will not be making the trip to Philly. “It’d be better if he stays back,” Dusty Baker said. “I know he hates not going, because even in spring training he mentioned to me about beating Philly, because that’s probably been our toughest spot to play in for the last couple years … them, period.”

10. Cincinnati's all-time record against the Phillies is 1,048-856.

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