Farewell June, you were a bad friend this year. June, a month where the Reds fell to 5.5 games out of first place, allowed the Pittsburgh Pirates to not just jump the Reds, but the St. Louis Cardinals as well, and once again took Reds ace Johnny Cueto from us…. Talk about brutal.
But never fear Reds fans, it is July 1st, the dog days of summer have officially began, and the Reds now prepare for a battle and rematch of the 2012 NLDS with the defending World Series champion San Fransisco Giants.
Monday Bronson Arroyo (6-6, 3.61 ERA, 57K) vs. Mike Kickham (0-2, 10.57 ERA, 8K)
Tuesday Homer Bailey (4-6, 3.88 ERA, 102K) vs. Tim Lincecum (4-8, 4.64 ERA, 93K)
Wednesday Tony Cingrani (3-0, 3.42 ERA, 57K) vs. Barry Zito (4-6, 4.53ERA, 59K)
Thursday Mike Leake (7-3, 2.52 ERA, 67K) vs. Matt Cain (5-4, 4.29 ERA, 101K)
As you look over the pitching matchups for this series, obviously the stat line of Giants pitcher Mike Kickham jumps off the screen. Kickham, a young lefty filling in for the injury to Ryan Vogelsong has not had a great start to the season, but is a kid that has a lot of talent. Kickham is also a southpaw so expect to see Derrick Robinson in the lead off spot tonight for the Reds. Kickham has had some flaws in his mechanics, saying after his last outing against the Dodgers that some of his pitches flattened out.
On the other side, Bronson Arroyo is coming off his worst outing of the year last Tuesday against Oakland. (4IP 7ER 7H 2BB 1K) yeah, that’s not exactly something to write home about. It is very important against a lineup with guys like Pablo Sandoval and Buster Posey that the Reds rotation gets off to a good start in this series.
Although the Giants are currently 39-42, and 3 games out of first in the 2010 NFC West, I mean 2013 NL West, they are a team that never seems to be down… Like, uh October of last year?
Even with the team having a rough year, the Giants provide a solid lineup, with Buster Posey, Hunter Pence, and Pablo Sandoval at the heart of their order, this isn’t a team to take lightly. The Giants also are awful on the road this year, 15-27 to be exact. The Reds as we know at home are 26-14, which we can hope that being at home puts the Reds in a nice comfort zone.