Vance Worley (6-8, 4.11 ERA)
The Vanimal has seen better days on the mound of late. His ERA has steadily creaped up from a respectable 3.63 in his last three outings. I’m no baseball doctor, but the simple diagnosis is he has been leaving too many fat pitches to hit in the zone. If Worley is going to be relied upon for next season he will have to turn back the clock to his rookie season, rather than his current Joe Blanton impersonation.
Bronson Arroyo (9-7, 3.96 ERA)
Whether its the long blond hair, or the high leg kick, there is nothing text book about Arroyo. But, despite his oddities he has defied logic and continuously provided close to 200 innings every year he has been a starter. Does he give up more home runs than you would like? Sure. Is his WHIP painstakingly high? Absolutely. The former Red Sox starter has managed to carve out a niche for himself, call it solid but not flashy. His veteran leadership on a Reds team, which is poised to make a deep run in October, is his most valuable asset. Every time you think a team has Arroyo’s number he sneaks in an 8 inning gem. Pitchers this odd are supposed to be left handed.
Hot hitters to watch on the Reds are Todd Frazier and Brandon Phillips. Frazier has never faced Worley but he has managed to help the Cincinnati faithful forget about the recovering Joey Votto, evidenced by his deep fly last night. Phillips is hitting .600 against the Vanimal in a limited sample size, but given his hot night at the plate last night look for the stroke to carry over.
The Phillies have seen a lot of Arroyo over the years, and they like what they see. The teams roster is hitting a collective .324 against Bronson, led by Juane Pierre of all people. Pierre is hitting .353 (12-35) and should be penciled in at the top of Charlies lineup tonight.
Last nights loss was yet another heartbreaker with the bullpen stifling each Phillies comeback. Tonight should offer yet another back and forth game with neither pitcher likely to dominate.