By: Matthew Mack
The Philadelphia Phillies headed to Cincinnati to play a three-game series with the Reds at Great American Ball Park. They lost the previous two- game series as they fell to the Tampa Bay Rays last weekend and look to get right in Cincy.
In the first game, they got destroyed as they lost 11-1. Hitting with runners in scoring position continues to hurt them, as they went zero-for-nine. Vince Velasquez started for the Phils and it did not go well for him, as he pitched only 3 innings and gave up six runs. Two Reds players were flirting with the cycle and Kyle Farmer had a day hitting three-for-four with a home run and five RBIs to rout the Phillies.
The next game, the bats exploded. The Phillies returned opened the floodgates and routed the Reds 17-3. Aaron Nola got the win while going just five innings, giving up a home run and three runs. It was a one-sided affair as five Phillies hit seven home runs. Odubel Herrera and Andrew McCutchen hit two while Ronald Torreyes, Rhys Hoskins, and Matt Joyce had one of each. The Phillies also scored 13 unanswered runs from the sixth inning on.
The last game was postponed due to inclement weather and has been rescheduled to June 28th at 6:40pm ET.
The Phillies ended the month of May on a sour note. The biggest concern has been the defense. Lapses in basic situational defense has caused games to be lost. The Phillies cannot rely on the offense to get to the postseason. The trade deadline is only 2 months away (non-waiver deadline is July 31st). They do not have much to offer, as far as making moves to win now. All is not lost. The NL East is not the best division at the moment and the Mets are playing very well as of right now. Keeping pace is their best shot at this point. After Nola, Vinny playing over his head right now, and the Zacks (Wheeler and Eflin) the glaring need for another starter cannot be ignored along with any upgrade for defensive help. While the injury bug has hampered the Phils, they need to have a “next man up” mentality to survive the season. May sucked. But now that we are in June, it is not early anymore. Welcome to the middle of the season.