The starting pitching and the offense both looked out of sync as the Cincinnati Reds lose the series to the Nationals in D.C. Looking forward, they look to bounce back as their road trip continues.
Coming off of a tough series in our Nation’s Capitol, the Cincinnati Reds head to play the New York Mets having lost three out of four from the Nationals, and going 4-6 in their last 10 games. Even though the Mets are struggling as well going 3-7 in their last 10 games, don’t expect them to go away easily. With two of their three dominant pitchers set to take the mound in the upcoming series, anything is possible.
Since the All-Star break, the Cincinnati Reds have gone 6-10 with the offense and pitching struggling throughout. With young players getting playing time due to injured starters, this team has unlimited potential but is experiencing growing pains. That coupled with both sides of the ball struggling, the team is in for a test.
An offense that has become the staple for this team and the bright spot to inconsistent pitching has faltered here as of late. Feeling the losses of Adam Duvall to a trade with the Braves along with Jesse Winker and Scott Schebler to the Disabled List, production needs to come from someone else.
Hits have been consistently been strung together, but the problem has been driving those runners in. Over this last four-game series with the Nationals, they had 33 hits and only 14 runs while leaving guys on base almost every inning.
Prior to the break, the offense was showing their strength and consistency with runners on base. Ranking in the top three, the Cincinnati Reds plated 461 runs but you wouldn’t know it since then. According to MLB.com reporter Kyle Melnick, the offense has averaged 3.5 runs per game with a .240 average since the All-Star game.
Starters giving up early runs
Aside from the one win turned in by Anthony DeSclafani, the starting pitching got rocked this series early in games. In Game 1, Tyler Mahle gave up six runs in the second inning leading to a 10-4 bashing. In Game 3, Matt Harvey gave up five earned runs in an eventual 6-2 loss, and in the finale, Luis Castillo gave up two runs early but continued to stay strong.
A viable option is also starting Robert Stephenson. Stephenson, who has been pitching well in the minors, has a lot to prove and could help with preventing early runs. The pitching has been inconsistent since returning to action the last 16 games, and it is possible that Jim Riggleman could start to go to the bullpen earlier.
An impressive bullpen
With certain starters struggling early in games, the bullpen has been called upon frequently to keep games close for the offense. In their last four games with the Nationals, the bullpen only allowed five runs and every person is contributing.
Guys like Michael Lorenzen (2.68), Amir Garrett, Jesus Reyes, David Hernandez, Keury Mella, and Jared Hughes to name a few, are all hovering around a 2.00 earned run average. These guys are all vital to recovering the abysmal starts by the rotation that plagued this last series and since the break.
Homer looks to build off of previous start
Homer Bailey gets the ball tonight against Noah Syndergaard to start in a pivotal match-up, especially for Bailey. After his last outing where he posted 2 earned runs and 3 hits over 8 innings pitched in a loss to Detroit, the offense didn’t back him up.
Bailey has always been ridiculed for his mega contract not reflecting the player everyone hoped for, but his last performance proved what the organization continues to see in him. The interesting thing to watch will be if Bailey can continue that dominance tonight, and consistently moving forward.
For the remaining two games, Sal Romano takes the mound on Tuesday at 7:10 pm ET against Justin Vargas. In the series finale on Wednesday, the starting pitcher is TBD against the Mets’ ace Jacob deGrom will begin at 12:10 pm ET.