Anthony DeSclafani was dealing in the Cincinnati Reds’ 1-0 win against the New York Mets. He matched Jacob deGrom pitch-for-pitch and may have gotten the better of last year’s NL Cy Young Award winner.
The Cincinnati Reds sent their ace to the mound on Tuesday, while the New York Mets countered with Jason Vargas (7.20 ERA). Unfortunately, the Reds fell 4-3 in extra innings. Last night, the Mets’ ace, Jacob deGrom, was on the mound against Anthony DeScalfani. Oddly enough, the Reds’ starter got the better of last year’s NL Cy Young Award winner.
The Reds were 4-8 in one-run games entering last night, but a near flawless by DeSclafani put the team in position to win. A bomb to left field off the bat of Jose Iglesias in the ninth inning gave the Reds a 1-0 lead and Michael Lorenzen closed the door to give the Reds a 2-1 series edge with a day game today.
While Iglesias’ homer will be celebrated and Jesse Winker‘s sliding catch to end the game will be cheered, the key to last night’s game was the performance of Anthony DeSclafani. While it’s been hotly debated in recent weeks as to who the Reds will take out of the rotation when Alex Wood returns from injury, Disco’s performance in the Big Apple showed why he should stick around.
Opposing DeSclafani during the Reds’ win was New York’s ace Jacob deGrom. While deGrom’s start to this season has not been stellar, last year’s NL Cy Young Award winner has not lost much. deGrom was still dealing and finished the game allowing only 3 hits and striking out 6. While the Reds’ bats have been ice cold, there’s no shame in that type of offensive performance against deGrom.
While pitching matchups aren’t in direct competition, the way an opposing pitcher performs against his counterpart is vital to his team’s success. Anthony DeScalfani knew he’d have to be on his game last night at Citi Field. Was he ever.
The New Jersey native took it to the New York Mets and held them in check for nearly six innings. Disco allowed just 3 hits himself and stuck out 8 while allowing just 1 walk. He also padded his offensive stats with a single off deGrom in the top of the fifth inning.
Disco was dealing last night. He struck out Michael Conforto in the first inning with a 96-MPH heater. J.D. Davis and Brandon Nimmo were both caught looking at strike three in the bottom of the second. Each of them watched a two-seam fastball find it’s spot high in the zone. He was hitting the upper part of the strike zone all night.
After another two-seam fastball found its mark in the bottom the sixth inning to strike out Pete Alonso, Disco allowed a 2-out double to Robinson Cano that tipped off the end of Jesse Winker’s glove. David Bell promptly removed DeScalfani and brought in Wandy Peralta.
While Peralta did his job against the lefty Conforto, I felt that Bell’s hook was a bit quick. After bringing up Matt Bowman from Triple-A Louisville because the bullpen had been overworked, why bring in Peralta when DeSclafani was pitching the way he was?
Save for that decision to take out Anthony DeSclafani a bit prematurely, Bell managed the game very well. To be fair to Bell, Conforto worked a walk in his previous at-bat and was 1-for-4 against DeSclafani before last night’s game. Peralta hadn’t allowed a hit versus Conforto in his career. So, let’s not be too hard on the Reds’ skipper.
If Anthony DeSclafani continues to deal like this, he’s going to keep his spot in the rotation regardless of when Alex Wood returns. After a terrible start to the season that saw Disco’s ERA hit 7.42, his last three games have been close to perfect.
Anthony DeScalfani has gone 17.2 innings, allowed just 1 run and struck out 20. For comparison’s sake, Luis Castillo has pitched 18.2 innings over his last three starts, allowed 3 runs and struck out 18 batters. So, who is the real ace on this Cincinnati Reds squad? While no one is saying that DeSclafani is the team’s ace, he is pitching very well.