It is difficult to know when rock bottom has been reached, but after an 8-0 Cincinnati Reds defeat, the bottom is approaching.
Now 0-13 in their history against Phillies starter Cole Hamels, the Reds may as well turn over the deed to Great American Ball Park to the Hamels family. Having a mediocre season thus far, Hamels’ two wins in 2014 have both come against the Reds.
In stark opposition, the Redlegs rolled out their number one man in the impenetrable Johnny Cueto.
Come night’s end, Cueto’s ERA still sat south of two at a ridiculous 1.97, but contrary to the overall yearly statistics, it was not his night.
Through the front three, Cueto appeared to be rolling towards another sensational start. A strike away from escaping the fourth inning unscathed, a walk to Ryan Howard continued the inning that would seemingly never end.
Before having the plug pulled on him at the conclusion of the fifth, Jimmy Rollins sent him packing by demolishing a hanging changeup into the Philadelphia bullpen.
The battle of the aces did live up to any of its billing, with Hamels unquestionably the victor.
Almost amazingly, Hamels could do no wrong against the Reds yet again. The ace of the Phillies staff with Cliff Lee on the disabled list, he certainly pitched like it on Friday, snapping the clubs’ losing streak, and adding on to the Reds’.
Only Ryan Ludwick’s double in the seventh inning went for extra bases as the offense severely stalled. With just five hits over the course of the evening, Zack Cozart was the only member to have a multi-hit night, and even that was highly disputable after Reid Brignac could have been charged with an error.
The only reason Hamels was unable to finish the game was due to the modern-era pitch counts that call for relief pitchers nearly immediately after 125 pitches. Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon sealed the deal with a 1-2-3 ninth inning to bury the Reds on what was supposed to be a celebratory Fireworks Friday.
Johnny Cueto was not the only pitcher to incur the Phillies wrath. Attempting to get in an inning of mop-up work in the ninth, Sam LeCure’s ERA took a violent vertical spike.
New haircut and all, LeCure was hammered around the yard, yielding three earned runs while recording just a single out. In relief of him, Jonathan Broxton finished the inning off, lowering his own ERA down to 0.50.
Not having scored in the last 17 innings, the Redlegs hope that an afternoon start on Saturday can jump-start the bats.