One first-place team left town last night and another first-place team is here for the final four games before the All-Star break.
We won’t see the Braves again until the final two weeks of the season. Over the last 12 games, we face them six times, including the final weekend. Early in the season, the Braves lost 9 in a row. Since then, 41-21. Hopefully, they will cool down.
The Reds are the top offensive team in the NL, leading in hitting, runs, total bases, home runs, RBI, grand slams, slugging percentage, RISP and pinch-hit homers (7). They’ve posted winning months in the first three months of the season for the first time since 1992. So, they are for real.
They have six rookies on the roster and the Phillies will face three rookie starters after tonight.
Good news: Phillies are 13-8 against the Reds at Citizens Bank Park.
Minor League Notes
2B Harold Garcia and LHP Matt Way are the Phillies minor league players of the month for June. Each was promoted this week.
Way suffered the loss at Clearwater in his first start on Tuesday, allowing 3 runs in 4 innings. Garcia singled in his first Reading at-bat last night.
Way and May flipped rosters. TH Travis May was scuffling at Clearwater and was sent to Lakewood with Way moving up to the Threshers.
This is unusual. Five former Phillies right-handed pitchers have birthdays today:
Ed Keegan (71), Darrell Brandon (70), Gary Kroll (69), George Culver (67) and Lerrin LaGrow (62).
Brandon is a great trivia question: who was the last Phillie to wear #32 before Steve Carlton. Brandon was assigned that number in spring training of 1972. Steve Carlton came to the Phillies from the Cardinals during spring training and was given his old number in St. Louis (32).