Aug 21, 2012; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins (11) throws to first base to complete the double play after forcing Cincinnati Reds left fielder Ryan Ludwick (48) at second base during the sixth inning at Citizens Bank Park. The Reds defeated the Phillies 5-4. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE

Phillies vs. Reds: Labor Day Duel

Tyler Cloyd (0-1, 4.50 ERA)

: Eric Hartline-US PRESSWIRE

Tyler Cloyd made his major league debut last week against the Mets fresh off winning the Paul Owens award as the Phillies top minor league pitcher. Cloyd was good, not great, but showed enough in his 6 innings of work to make fans believe he’s got what it takes. He won’t excite anyone with electrifying stuff, but all he’s done is get outs. No one has done more with less this year in the Phillies system than Cloyd. Here’s hoping it translates to the bigs!

Johnny Cueto (17-6, 2.48 ERA)

Aug. 28, 2012; Phoenix, AZ, USA: Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

Cueto could become the MLB leader in wins with a victory against the Phils. One more win would also put the Reds an astonishing 30 games over .500. Cueto has been a big part of the teams meteoric rise to first, and figures to be a key cog in their October run. He’s already leading all of baseball in ERA and is 2nd in WAR only to Justin Verlander. The Phils can celebrate labor day by stifling Cueto’s quest for first, and keeping the Reds from running away with NL central (at least for a day).

Total Breakdown

Like most of Cloyd’s future matchups, the Reds will be seeing the young righty for the first time. Cloyd should have the upper hand, but watch out for the Reds third time through the lineup. If he has his cutter working, he may be able to hold the Reds potent lineup at bay.

The Phightins shouldn’t be completely overmatched against Cueto, bringing in a team average of .257. Howard and Utley lead the way, both hitting over .300 with a homer to boot. Great lifetime numbers are nice, but if Cueto is on his game runs will be hard to come by.

Tags: Philadelphia Phillies