Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips hasn’t appeared in a game since getting hit on the left forearm by a pitch on Saturday evening.
But his return is apparently imminent.
According to C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer, both Phillips himself and Reds manager Dusty Baker insisted earlier this evening that Phillips will be back in Cincinnati’s starting lineup on Friday night in St. Louis for the start of an important three-game series against the division-rival Cardinals.
Phillips boasts a .296/.347/.481 batting line, nine homers and 45 RBI in 54 games this season. The Reds entered play Wednesday with a 36-23 record, trailing the Cardinals by 2 1/2 games in the NL Central.
Jack Hannahan is starting at second base in Cincy’s series finale tonight against the Rockies.
Mets starter Steven Matz helped his own cause again, belting a solo home run in the top of the third inning of Tuesday’s game against the Phillies. Matz turned on a 1-1 breaking ball from Cy Young contender Aaron Nola, breaking a scoreless tie.
Matz also homered in his previous start against the Marlins last Thursday. According to MLB Stat of the Day, he is the third Mets pitcher to homer in back-to-back starts, joining Tom Seaver (1972) and Ron Darling (1989).
Matz is the fourth full-time pitcher to hit multiple home runs this season, joining the Reds’ Michael Lorenzen (four), and the Cardinals’ John Gant and Miles Mikolas (two each). The last Mets pitcher to hit multiple home runs in a season was Noah Syndergaard, who hit three in 2016.
Along with the bat, Matz has also been dealing on the mound. As of this writing, he has held the Phillies scoreless over five innings despite walking five batters and allowing two hits.