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Phillies hope ailing bullpen steps up vs. Reds

Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard (43) delivers a pitch in the third inning of a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.

Philadelphia Phillies At Cincinnati Reds Aug 15 5902
Credit: Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

Before the Philadelphia Phillies lost a heartbreaking 10-9 game against the New York Mets on Sunday, they had to deal with the bitter reality of losing two key relief pitchers.

Closer Seranthony Dominguez was placed on the 15-day injured list with tendinitis in his right triceps and Corey Knebel was lost for the season with a torn capsule in his right shoulder.

The absences were quite noticeable as David Robertson allowed the go-ahead two-run home run to Mark Canha in the ninth inning.

After dropping three of four to the Mets, the Phillies will now look to rebound with a depleted bullpen when they open a four-game series against the visiting Cincinnati Reds on Monday.

“It’s a little bit more difficult, but we still have guys we rely on,” Phillies interim manager Rob Thomson said. “It’s just that they’re a little taxed right now.”

The loss overshadowed some power provided by Alec Bohm, who hit two homers and knocked in six runs Sunday. Jean Segura also produced his first career pinch-hit home run, which had given them a short-lived 8-7 advantage in the eighth.

“Is it disappointing to lose? Certainly,” Thomson said. “But I’m really proud of the entire club just the way they fought.”

Noah Syndergaard (7-8, 3.95 ERA) is scheduled to start for the Phillies. In Syndergaard’s last start, also against the Reds, he gave up eight hits and three runs in seven innings.

Syndergaard has had a lot of success over his career against the Reds, going 6-0 with a 2.36 ERA in seven starts.

The Reds will look for their third straight victory when they battle the Phillies.

Cincinnati defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates 9-5 on Sunday and scored at least nine runs in consecutive games for the first time since Sept. 26-27, 2021.

Jake Fraley and Mike Moustakas each homered for the Reds.

The power was a pleasant surprise since Joey Votto was deemed out for the season Friday following surgery on his shoulder and biceps.

“Joey’s such a big part of what we do here, though, offensively, defensively, in the clubhouse. Just him being around is huge,” Moustakas said. “So we’re going to miss him a lot, but we’ve got to keep going out there and playing ball, and … we can throw some numbers up pretty good. As long as we keep going out there and playing hard and doing that, we’re going to have a chance.”

Luis Cessa (3-1, 5.50) is scheduled to start for the Reds, but it’s likely to become a bullpen game.

Cessa is 1-1 with a 5.79 ERA in six career games (one start) against the Phillies. He started 19 games for the New York Yankees from 2016-18 before moving to the bullpen.

But Cessa has been imploring the club to return to the starting rotation.

“That’s one of my goals in my career, try to be a starter again,” Cessa said. “I told (manager) David (Bell) when I came out here last year, whatever position you need me, I’ll try to be ready. Long reliever, leverage inning, whatever, so I told David thank you for this opportunity and I try to do my best, and hopefully it’s the best for the team.”

–Field Level Media