Cincinnati Reds, St. Louis Cardinals Series Preview


For the fifth and final time this season, the Cincinnati Reds will play their division rivals, the St. Louis Cardinals, for a three-game series at Busch Stadium. The Reds shocked many in their last series with the Cardinals when they were just one game shy of a sweep, winning the series three games to one and improving their overall record against the St. Louis this season to 7-9. Sweeping this series would give the Reds a winning record against the playoff-bound Cardinals and would certainty be a silver lining to an otherwise painful season.

Game 1
9/21 8:10 p.m. EST
CIN: John Lamb (1-3, 5.35)
STL: Jaime Garcia (9-5, 2.52)

Lamb vs. Garcia is a rematch from the last Reds-Cardinals series. In that game, Lamb finally earned his first career win in the sweetest fashion possible when he led the Reds to a victory over their biggest rivals. Lamb pitched five innings in that game, giving up three hits, striking out six and not giving up a single run — a first for him in Cincinnati. To go along with the great start from Lamb, the Reds completely slaughtered the Cardinals that game, scoring 11 runs off 13 hits, including home runs from Brandon Phillips and Todd Frazier.

It’s probably not a game that Garcia, who took the loss, would like to remember. Garcia allowed six of the Reds’ 11 runs in that game, and only pitched 4 1/3 innings. Phillips, Jason Bourgeois and Joey Votto have all been consistently dominant at the plate against Garcia, and will look to continue to continue that in tonight’s game.

More from Blog Red Machine

Game 2
9/22 8:15 p.m. EST
CIN: Keyvius Sampson (2-5, 7.09)
STL: John Lackey (12-9, 2.79)

Sampson didn’t start in the last series against the Cardinals (probably a good thing for the Reds) and will be making his first start against them in game two. Unfortunately for the Reds, Sampson has been consistently unproductive for the Reds, and hasn’t shown any signs of improvement. Sampson is pitching an average of slightly more than four innings per start, has gone 2-5 as a starter and has an 8.74 ERA in the month of September. In his last start against the San Francisco Giants, Sampson pitched just three innings and allowed three runs off of five hits and two walks.

Lackey will be starting for the Cardinals and saw the Reds in the last series. Lackey pitched well against the Reds in that game, going seven innings and only giving up two runs. Most Reds have struggled against Lackey except for Votto (3-for-9 with 4 walks, 2 home runs and 4 RBIs) and Billy Hamilton (6-for-18).

Game 3
9/23 8:15 p.m. EST
CIN: Brandon Finnegan (4-0, 2.53)
STL: Lance Lynn (11-10, 3.28)

Finnegan made his first major league start last week against the Milwaukee Brewers and earned his first win with the Reds in that game, pitching five innings and giving up one run off of three hits. In his time with the Reds, Finnegan has pitched 7 2/3 innings in three appearances, and has given up just one run and struck out eight while walking three. Finnegan has also made two appearances against the Cardinals, giving up no hits and only one walk while striking out four in 2 2/3 innings of work.

To face off against Finnegan, the Cardinals will be sending Lynn to the mound for the third time against the Reds this year. Lynn took the loss in the last series, despite going six innings and giving up three runs. Reds fans will no doubt salivate over the match-up between Lynn and Jay Bruce, who has completely dominated Lynn in the past. Bruce has slashed an incredible .452/.486/.903 against Lynn with three home runs, 11 RBIs and three walks. In addition to Bruce, Votto has also done quite well against Lynn, going 9-for-20 with seven walks.

Next: Reds 2015 all-minor league team: position players