Phils Red Hot
The Philadelphia Phillies are one of the top scoring teams in the majors, but their offense was virtually nonexistent in their last game.
They'll try to bounce back against a minor league call-up making his season debut on Thursday as they conclude a four-game set against the Cincinnati Reds, who hope to have Ken Griffey Jr. back in the lineup as he continues his pursuit of his 600th homer.
The NL East-leading Phillies (35-26) are third in the majors with 323 runs, lead all teams with 89 homers and averaged 7.9 runs in the first eight games of their 10-game homestand. They had no answers for Cincinnati's Edinson Volquez in Wednesday's 2-0 loss, though.
Oddsmakers from Sportsbook.com have made Philadelphia -225 money line favorites (MLB Odds) for tonight's game, the over/under has been set at 9.5 total runs (Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 64% of bets for this game have been placed on Philadelphia -225 (View MLB Bet Percentages).
Philadelphia managed only two hits and got only one runner past second Wednesday as it lost for just the second time in 10 games. The Reds (29-31), meanwhile, were limited to only three hits as Brett Myers' no-hit bid was broken up by a run-scoring double by Joey Votto with two outs in the seventh.
Phillies second baseman Chase Utley, who leads the majors with 21 homers, was hitless in three at-bats after going 15-for-34 (.441) with seven home runs and 20 RBIs in his previous nine games.
"A shutout against this club in this ballpark is almost impossible,'' Reds manager Dusty Baker said.
The difficult task of trying to shut down Philadelphia for a second straight day will fall to Homer Bailey, who will be called up from Triple-A Louisville to start the series finale for Cincinnati.
Bailey, who went 4-4 with a 4.15 ERA in 12 starts in the minors, was 4-2 with a 5.76 ERA in nine starts as a rookie last season for the Reds.
The right-hander had one of his worst outings against the Phillies on June 26, as he was pounded for six runs and six hits in 1 2-3 innings of an 11-4 loss at Citizens Bank Park.
Griffey wasn't in the Reds' starting lineup for the third consecutive game Wednesday because of general soreness. He came in to pinch-hit in the eighth and walked.
Griffey hit homer No. 599 on Saturday and went 2-for-3 Sunday, but hasn't started since. The only players to reach 600 are Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Willie Mays and Sammy Sosa.
Griffey is hitless in his only two at-bats versus Thursday's scheduled starter Cole Hamels (5-4, 3.73 ERA), who looks to get out of his rut.
Hamels has yielded 13 runs, 15 hits and has only four strikeouts in 9 2-3 innings over his past two starts. He allowed eight hits and fanned 17 in 16 shutout innings over his previous two outings.
On Saturday, the left-hander was tagged for a season-high seven runs and eight hits - including three home runs - in 5 2-3 innings of a 7-3 loss to Florida. It was the most runs Hamels has allowed since giving up nine in two innings as a rookie against the Chicago Cubs on Aug. 24, 2006.
"His command has been off the last two times out," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel told the team's official Web site. "He'll figure it out. It's part of going through the season. These things happen."
While Hamels has been struggling lately, he has had no trouble facing the Reds in his career.
In his only start against Cincinnati this season, Hamels allowed two runs and five hits in seven innings of a 5-3 victory. He is 2-0 with a 0.86 ERA in three career starts versus the Reds, striking out 26 in 21 innings.
After this game, the Phillies embark on a nine-game road trip, and play 18 of their next 24 away from Philadelphia.
Did you like this article? Subscribe to our Baseball news feed for the fastest updates delivered right to you - Click here to Subscribe