One pitch costs Phelps in duel at Marlins Park
MIAMI -- Perhaps there was a bit of poetic justice for Jay Bruce against David Phelps on Friday night in the Reds' 1-0 win over the Marlins at Marlins Park.
Bruce's second-inning home run, the second time he has gone deep off Phelps this season, accounted for the lone run. It also served as a reminder that the Reds' left-handed-hitting right fielder can strike at any park.
"He's seeing the ball out of my hand pretty well, the last four at-bats against me," Phelps said. "It's frustrating going out there. You've got to limit the damage. One swing won the game tonight."
When Phelps faced the Reds at hitter-friendly Great American Ball Park on June 21, Bruce connected on a drive that likely wouldn't have been out in Miami. His blast in the second inning Friday night left no doubt.
"It's funny, I was complaining at their place, 'It might not be a home run at our place.' He showed me," Phelps said. "It's just frustrating."
Phelps' lone mistake, however, doesn't diminish how effective he was in six innings, scattering five hits while striking out four.
Bruce did the most damage, with his home run, a double and a walk.
"Last time we faced him, he was a guy that threw strikes," Bruce said. "I was ready to hit from pitch one -- looking for a mistake -- and he left a ball up that I could get to."
Bruce wasn't the only problem the Marlins faced Friday. Reds right-hander Mike Leake had his cutter going, and Miami barely could scratch out any hits.
Leake threw eight shutout innings, striking out 10, while allowing just three hits. It was the second time this year Leake has dominated the Marlins. On June 19, the right-hander threw seven scoreless innings, allowing two hits while striking out seven.
"That was a tremendous pitchers' duel," Miami manager Dan Jennings said. "Phelpsy threw the ball outstanding. He had great location again. Unfortunately, Leake matched him. He had an outstanding cutter going."
From a tactical pitching standpoint, Phelps likes watching Leake, because they are similar in style.
"He's not a guy with overpowering stuff," Phelps said. "He sinks the ball, cuts the ball. It's what I try to do as well. He's at the bottom of the zone all the time. You're not going to get a lot of bat on the ball from there. It's impressive watching him go out the last two times."
Added Phelps: "Yeah, it's tough to be on the other end of it."