By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – It’s been an exciting series between the Phillies and Reds thus far, but it’s Cincinnati that has won two out of three after they held off the Phillies 3-2 last night.
In both losses, the Phillies had the tying run on base in the 9th inning, but couldn’t find a way to push it across against flame-throwing Reds closer Aroldis Chapman.
Tonight’s series finale features a wonderful pitching match-up as a couple of Cy Young candidates battle.
The Phillies will start left-hander Cole Hamels while the Reds counter with Johnny Cueto.
Not only has Hamels been wonderful this season (14-6, 2.94 ERA) and dominant as of late (3-0, 1.05 ERA in last three starts), but he has been virtually unhittable in his career against the Reds. In nine career starts against Cincinnati, Hamels is 7-0 with a 1.44 ERA. He actually made his Major League debut against the Reds back on May 12th, 2006. In that game in Cincinnati, Hamels went five innings allowing just one hit and no runs. He walked five, struck out seven and got a no-decision in a game the Phillies eventually won 8-4.
As for Cueto, he is 16-6 (16 wins tied for NL lead) here in 2012 and leads the league with 2.44 ERA. He is 1-2 in five career starts against the Phillies with a 5.65 ERA. That ERA is skewed, however, by one atrocious start back in 2009. On July 6th of that year, he started and got just two outs while allowing nine runs in a game the Phillies won 22-1.
KYW’s Matt Leon spoke with Phillies broadcaster Chris Wheeler about this series and tonight’s great pitching match-up.
You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.