Cincinnati Reds starters allow just one run against the NL’s best

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 16: Luis Castillo #58 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches against the Chicago Cubs during the first inning at Wrigley Field on September 16, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 16: Luis Castillo #58 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches against the Chicago Cubs during the first inning at Wrigley Field on September 16, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images) /
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Starters Matt Harvey, Cody Reed, and Luis Castillo shut down the NL’s best over the Cincinnati Reds’ 3-game series in Chicago.

If this weekend’s series against the Chicago Cubs is a preview of next season’s rotation for the Cincinnati Reds, then sign me up. The Reds’ starters, in the 3-game set against the National League-leading Cubbies, allowed only 1 run through 17.2 innings.

Matt Harvey took the hill on Friday for the Cincinnati Reds. The veteran right-hander went 6 innings and didn’t allow a single run against one of the best offenses in the NL. Harvey struck out 6 and allowed only 4 hits. Unfortunately, David Hernandez allowed a go-ahead 3-run home run to Ian Happ and the Reds lost the game 2-3.

Cody Reed was dominant on Saturday afternoon. The lefty struck out a career-high 10 batters. Reed allowed only 2 hits but was lifted after 5 innings of work when his spot in the batting order came up in the top of the 6th inning.

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Once again, however, the Reds’ bullpen surrendered the game-winning run when Sal Romano let Willson Contreras punch a two-out RBI through the infield. The Cubs escaped with a 1-0 win over the Redlegs.

Luis Castillo got the call during Sunday afternoon’s finale. While he didn’t have his best stuff, only two strikeouts, Castillo was able to work out of multiple jams en route to allowing only 1 earned run through 6 2/3 innings.

Amir Garrett emphatically slammed the door on the Cubs in the seventh inning. Jared Hughes and Raisel Iglesias put the finishing touches on a spectacular pitching display and Cincinnati hung on to survive with a 2-1 victory.

The Cincinnati Reds are now headed to Milwaukee and will face another offensive juggernaut in the Brewers. Milwaukee is second in the National League in home runs and sixth in hits. Christian Yelich has been a thorn in the Reds side all season, as has Eric Thames.

Cincinnati will send Anthony DeSclafani to mound on Monday and Michael Lorenzen, who’s been a reliever all season, will get the start on Tuesday night. Matt Harvey will close out the series on Wednesday night before the Reds head to South Beach to play the Marlins.

Lorenzen's start can be applauded and questioned. Next

If the Reds can get the same kind of pitching production against the Brewers that they got against the Cubs, then Cincinnati’s starting pitching may not be as bad off as we all think. If the Reds can compete against the best teams in the NL when winning is paramount to these clubs, then maybe they’re not that far away from contending.