By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – After taking two of three in Miami against the hapless Marlins, the Phillies are now in Cincinnati where they will open a three-game series with the Reds Monday night.
The Phillies are 6-6 on the season, that’s good for fourth place in the National League East. They are five games behind the first-place Braves.
On the mound in the series opener for the Phillies will be left-hander Cliff Lee. The veteran has been the Phils’ ace this season, going 2-0 in his first two starts with a miniscule 1.08 ERA. In 16.2 innings pitched, Lee has struck out 14 batters while not walking anyone.
This will be Lee’s 12th career start against the Reds. In his first 11, he has gone 6-2 with a 3.91 ERA.
Lee’s mound opponent will be veteran right-hander Bronson Arroyo. He is 1-1 in two starts this season with a 5.25 ERA. He has struggled in his career against the Phillies, going 2-7 in 11 games with a 6.55 ERA. In 55 innings, the Phillies have hit 13 home runs off him.
If you go by past history, this could be a good series for the Phillies’ bats. The three right-handers they are slated to face – Arroyo, Homer Bailey and Mike Leake – are 2-13 all-time against the Phillies with a 6.85 ERA.
Cincinnati is 5-7 here in the early going. They drag a five-game losing streak into this series.
KYW’s Matt Leon spoke with Corey Seidman of Phillies Nation about this series opener.
You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.