The Phillies’ (34-25) ten games home stand will continue tonight, as they host the Reds (28-30, 5th National League Central) for the second game of their four games set. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. Ken Griffey, Jr. should be in the Reds’ lineup tonight, and should get at least four chances to try and hit his 600th career home run, which is not good news for the Phillies’ starter for tonight’s game, as Junior has already tagged him for two of his 599 previous four baggers. The Phillies’ starters will be Adam Eaton (1-3, 4.99), who has finally gotten his first win of the year, doing it against the Rockies on May 28, as he pitched six strong innings, giving up only one earned run on four hits, in the Phillies’ 6-1 victory. His career record against the Reds is 2-0 with a 4.19 ERA in six starts, which includes his previous start against them this year, occuring back on April 5, where he would receive his first no-decision of the season, as he would pitch seven and two-thirds innings, giving up three earned runs on six hits, in the Phillies’ 4-3 lost. He’ll be trying to make it two wins in a row, while trying to avoid becoming Junior’s 600th home run victim, as he hopes that the Phillies’ offensive juggernaut will continue on its merry way. The Reds plan to counter with Aaron Harang (2-7, 3.81), who is coming off of a lost to the Bucos on May 29, as he was crushed by them for six earned runs on ten hits as he was only able to last four innings, in the Reds’ 7-2 lost. He has already pitched against the Phillies this year, as he opposed Adam Eaton on April 5. He would also receive a no-decision as he would pitch six innings, giving up two earned runs on six hits while striking out six. He will be trying to get a win to improve his poor record, while hoping that he won’t be facing the Phillies’ wrath for his good performance against them earlier this season.
The Phillies’ offense last night had twelve more hits, including 5 more extra-base hits (2 (2B), 3 (HR)). Chase Utley, who is still the leading vote getter among National League All-Stars, has, for the second time this year, tied the Phillies’ franchise record for the consective number of games hitting at least one home run by hitting a home run in the first inning last night. He has also hit at least one RBI for the eighth straight game. Because of this, he has won his fifth National League Player of the Week award for his heroics last week. Phillies’ fans will be waiting to see tonight which of the two home runs related accomplishments will occur during tonight’s game, Junior hitting his 600th career home run, or Utley hitting it out of the park for a team record sixth game in a row. Only time will tell. Meanwhile, the rest of the Phillies’ bats will be trying to continue their campaign to wear out opposing teams’ starters.
The first place Phillies are now leading the Marlins by a game and a half, as they continue their four games series with the Braves. The third place Braves are still trailing the Phils by three and a half games thanks to their extra-innings win against the fish. The fourth place Mets are now trailing the Phillies by four and a half games, as they got crushed by the Giants last night. The Phils will be trying to win for the eighth time in their last nine games, while also trying to increase their lead in the National League East.
Edit: Well, just learned that Junior won’t be playing today. Looks like the knees are still sore. I wonder if the Reds will be using him for pitch hitting duty. Guess we’ll find out during the ballgame tonight.