Last Series versus the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Game 1, Tuesday: Angels Win 4-3
The Headline on Yahoo for this game is “Jimenez’s double gets Angels by Phillies” in reference to Luis Jimenez’s game-tying double in the sixth, but this game was all about Cody Asche’s three errors at third base. Asche is the first Phillie to commit three errors at the hot corner since David Bell in 2005. The errors caused all four of the Angels’ runs to be unearned for Cliff Lee as he falls to 3-4 on the season.
Game 2, Wednesday: Angels Win 3-0
Well he may have only batted 1-4, but Mike Trout gave the 4,000 fans visiting from his hometown, Millville, NJ, a show. Trout’s only hit was a triple, his fourth of the season, and he also sole 2nd base after being walked. Trout batted 2 for 7 on the series with a walk and three strikeouts. The real story of this game was Angels starter Garrett Richards, who pitched seven shutout innings, allowing five hits and striking out eight Phillies. Richards moves to 4-0 on the season with a 1.06 WHIP and a 2.42 ERA.
The positive for the Phillies continues to be Chase Utley. In the midst of his renaissance at the plate this season (so far), Utley batted 3 for 7 with a run and a RBI, extended his small hit-streak to six games in which he’s 11 for 24. He is now batting .343/.401/.571 with 3 homers and 20 RBI.
Cincinnati Reds (18-21) @ Philadelphia Phillies (17-21)
Friday at 7:05 ET: Alfredo Simon (4-2) vs. Kyle Kendrick (0-1)
Saturday at 7:05 ET: Homer Bailey (3-2) vs. Cole Hamels (0-2)
Sunday at 1:35 ET: Tony Cingrani (2-2) vs. Cliff Lee (3-4)
All games can be seen on CSN Philly and Fox Sports Ohio
Cliff Lee starts the back-end of the series due to the Phillies having the rare occurrence of days off on Monday AND Thursday and thus, Cliff still gets four days in-between starts. The Phillies may be one of the worst scoring teams in baseball but the good news is that the Reds are worse. The Phils post an average of 3.79 runs per game while the Reds average 3.67. This could be a three-game set of pitcher’s duels. The keys for the Phillies will be to get runners on base and score them early. It’s pretty obvious, almost John Madden obvious, that’s the issue the Phillies need to deal with, especially when six of your everyday starters are batting above .250. The fielding can’t possibly stay horrible forever, they’re professionals after all; inconsistent fielding is very fixable.