Previewing the pitching matchups
Friday is La Piedra Day for Cincinnati Reds fans as Luis Castillo (3-1 1.97 ERA) opposes the Giants’ Dereck Rodriguez (3-4 5.75 ERA). Castillo, the April National League Pitcher of the Month, is seeking some payback against San Francisco.
After being staked to a 4-0 lead and cruising through five no-hit innings on Sunday against the Giants, Reds’ killer Buster Posey crushed a three-run homer tying the game in the sixth inning. Nevertheless, Castillo ranks in the Top 5 among NL pitchers in innings pitched, strikeouts, ERA, and WHIP.
Dereck Rodriguez had a less than stellar performance against the Reds last week. Allowing 4 homers and 8 runs in just 5 innings of work, the right-hander hopes the dimensions of Oracle Park will keep those fly balls in the yard.
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The 26-year-old right-hander and son of Hall of Fame catcher Ivan Rodriguez, has been awful in his last 2 starts. Rodriguez allowed 14 runs in 8 innings. This is a game the Cincinnati Reds should win easily.
Saturday night finds Anthony DeScalfani (2-1 3.65 ERA) battling The Shark, Jeff Samardzija (2-1 3.16 ERA). Disco was very good, save one pitch, in his start Monday versus San Francisco. Surrendering 4 runs in 6 innings, only a 3-run dinger from Pablo Sandoval spoiled an otherwise excellent outing for the Reds’ right-hander.
Jeff Samardzija had one of the strangest starts of his career Sunday in Cincinnati. The first four batters of the game for the Reds all scored, including three consecutive home runs on as many pitches. From that point, Samardzija allowed only one base hit while working 5 innings. Look for this one to be a pitchers duel.
The series finale features Tyler Mahle (0-5 3.69 ERA) and long time Giants’ ace Madison Bumgarner (2-4 3.99 ERA). When the Reds’ offense was launching long balls to all corners of GABP last weekend, the only member of the team’s rotation not to make a start was of course Tyler Mahle.
In Mahle’s 7 starts this season, the Reds have scored a total of 8 runs and have been shutout 3 times including his last two starts. The 24-year-old right-hander was excellent in his start against the A’s on Tuesday. Working 6 innings, Mahle allowed only 1 run on 3 hits, while fanning 8 batters. Of course, the Reds couldn’t even muster a hit against Mike Fiers and the right-hander was the hard luck loser again.
He may not be the Mad Bum of old, but Madison Bumgarner is never going to an easy matchup. Injuries have derailed the southpaw the past two seasons. Bumgarner has taken the ball every fifth day to open the 2019 campaign. Amazingly, still only 29-years-old, the left-hander is 3-5 with a 4.21 ERA in his career against the Cincinnati Reds.