No funnies this week. I bet there are a few of you that are thrilled for such, but…
So, we are constantly seeing tweets saying if the Reds do this, the Pirates and Cards got to do that. For every win the Reds amass, the climb becomes a little steeper for those two clubs. The Reds will be heading to Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love. Well, it hasn’t exactly been loving to the Good Guys, and this series will see the Reds face the “Big Three”: Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels.
Doc will get the ball tomorrow night. Lee the following evening. Hamels will take the mound in the final game of the four-game series. Vance Worley will be the game 3 pitcher for the Phillies. The Reds counter with Mike Leake, Homer Bailey, Bronson Arroyo and Johnny Cueto.
Game 1: Leake (5-7, 4.29 ERA) v. Halladay (6-7, 3.80 ERA)
Let’s not forget that Halladay hasn’t been the Doc we’re used to seeing. He missed almost two months and he has shown inconsistency. As of late though, he has returned more to his familiar form. In August, Halladay is 2-1 with a 1.64 ERA, a .145 BAA and a microscopic WHIP of 0.59. In his last outing, the Marlins touched him for 3 runs in 7 innings.
For Leake, well, he was simply superb in his last outing. He tossed 111 pitches in a complete game where he allowed only 1 run on 4 hits. His 3 outings prior to that were uneventful, almost forgettable. In 13.2 innings, Leake surrendered 12 runs (7.90 ERA) on 17 hits (.315 BAA) while posting a WHIP of 1.68. If there is an upside to those 3 games, he did manage 13 strikeouts.
Game 2: Bailey (10-8, 4.16 ERA) v. Lee (2-7, 3.83 ERA)
Hard to believe Lee only has two wins. In fact, he didn’t notch his first victory until July 4. In his last outing against the Brewers, Lee did have 12 whiffs, but he also allowed 3 homers and took the loss. He hasn’t exactly been untouchable this year. In his last 3 outings, Lee has permitted, get this, 7 home runs.
Bailey isn’t exactly turning heads either. Even though he recently won his career-high 10th game, we’re seeing the Bailey that has been the bane of many Reds fans. His last 4 outings reflect a record of 1-2 with a 8.24 ERA and 2.24 WHIP. Yes, you read all of that correctly. In all 4 games, Bailey has seen the opponent plate no less than 4 runs against him.
Game 3: Arroyo (9-7, 3.96 ERA) v. Worley (6-8, 4.11 ERA)
Usually when the Reds lose a game with Arroyo on the mound, we’re used to two things: Bronson allows the long ball and the Reds get blown out. Well, that hasn’t so much been the case in 2012. In the 7 losses that have been placed on Arroyo, the Reds have lost by 4 or more runs on only 2 occasions. Once was by 4 and the other was a 7 run defeat. Add that Arroyo has established himself as the Reds solid #3 guy especially with his August where he is 3-1 with a 4.91 ERA. Even less pretty when you see a BAA of .292 for the month, but when Arroyo pitches, the Reds win. They are 14-10 (.583) in his starts.
Worley hasn’t pitched as well as he did last season when he was 11-3 with a 3.01 ERA, and, in some people’s minds, a legit 2011 Rookie of the Year candidate. 2012 has not been as kind. August even less. In 4 games, Worley is 1-2 (Phillies are 2-2 in those starts) with an ERA of 5.23 to go along with a 1.79 WHIP. If you thought Arroyo’s August BAA looked a little gaudy, Worley’s is .326. His saving grace would be he doesn’t surrender the home run. At least nary a one in his last 4 starts.
Game 4: Cueto (16-6, 2.44) v. Hamels (14-6, 2.94)
What is there not to love about this pitching match-up? Here’s how August has gone for both…
– Both are 3-1.
– ERA: Cueto = 2.67; Hamels = 1.38.
– WHIP: Cueto = 0.76; Hamels = 0.92
– BAA: Cueto = .183; Hamels = .229
Both a legit NL Cy Young candidates. You don’t hear about Hamels because of the season the Phillies are having. If the Phillies were in contention, his name would be mentioned a little more. In fact, if you check out ESPN’s Cy Young Predictor, Cueto is tops while Hamels is 6th.
And these two eat innings. Hamels is 2nd in the NL with 171.1 IP while Cueto ranks 4th with 169.2 IP.
Considering the past history in Philly, a split would be nice. Winning 3 of the 4 would be even better. If you’re expecting the Phillies to lay down because they’re not in contention, guess again. They are 6-4 in their last 10 games.
And they have some motivation. The Phillies would do anything not to finish the season behind the Mets in the standings. They’re only a game behind them.