Cliff Lee Gets the Nod In Series Opener with Reds

The Phillies were pounded yet again by the Indians in Wednesday's series finale. Cole Hamels was roughed up, allowing five runs on six hits through five innings of work. The Phillies were able to mount four runs, but still fell 10-4. The Phillies fell back to four games under .500 with that loss and with the Nationals winning last night, the Phillies are back to 3.5 out of first place. Tonight, with a day's rest, they'll have room to improve as they open up a three-game series with the Cincinnati Reds. Back on April 15-17, the Phillies were swept in three games by the Reds. Cliff Lee (4-2, 2.86 ERA) and Tony Cingrani (2-0, 2.89 ERA) will get the ball in the series opener.

Cliff Lee has been on edge in his previous two starts. With a 2-0 record, Lee has allowed just two runs through 15 innings (1.20 ERA) and has 9 strike outs-to-2-walks in that span. In his last time out, against the Diamondbacks on Saturday, Lee pitched seven scoreless while allowing just six hits. Lee walked two, but still took his fourth win of the year. When Cliff Lee is on edge, he is unhittable. Hopefully he is getting on one of those runs again, just when the Phillies need it. Lee pitched seven innings of two-run ball against the Reds back on April 15th, taking the no-decision. In his career against Cincinnati, Lee is 6-2 with a 3.79 ERA (33 ER in 78 1/3 IP).

Tony Cingrani will be pitching on one-week's rest tonight as he takes on the Phillies. The 23-year-old has had a great run to begin his major league career. Making five starts this year, Cingrani has held opposing batters to a .202 average and has allowed just 9 runs over 28 innings. In his last start, against the Brewers on Friday, Cingrani gave up two runs on five hits through four innings. Despite the short outing, Cingrani still managed to stay unblemished on the year. Tonight will be Cingrani's first career start against Philadelphia. 

Game Notes:

  • The Phillies are 3-8 against NL Central teams this season, including three to the Reds back in April.
  • The Reds are riding a six-game winning streak.

Phillies lineup: 

  1. Jimmy Rollins SS
  2. Chase Utley 2B
  3. Michael Young 3B
  4. Ryan Howard 1B
  5. Delmon Young RF
  6. Domonic Brown LF
  7. Carlos Ruiz C
  8. John Mayberry Jr. CF
  9. Cliff Lee SP

Reds lineup:

  1. Shin-Soo Choo CF
  2. Zack Cozart SS
  3. Joey Votto 1B
  4. Brandon Phillips 2B
  5. Jay Bruce RF
  6. Todd Frazier 3B
  7. Devin Mesoraco C
  8. Derrick Robinson LF
  9. Tony Cingrani SP

First Pitch Forecast: Sunny – 71°- 0% PoP

TV: myPHL17
Radio: 94 WIP, 1210 WPHT

Let's Go Phillies!

Erik Seybold is a writer for Philliedelphia. Follow him on Twitter.