The Cincinnati Reds’ pitching has been outstanding this season and Anthony DeSclafani has been a big part of it. However, he needs to be on his game tonight when the Los Angeles Dodgers come to town.
Cincinnati Reds‘ starter Anthony DeSclafani struggled out of the gates to begin this season. DeSclafani, however, has rebounded quite nicely, but a hiccup last weekend in San Francisco has raised some questions. Can DeSclafani rebound against the Los Angeles Dodgers?
Anthony DeSclafani started the season going 0-1 in his first 3 starts. The Reds lost all three games and Disco gave up four home runs in those three games. DeSclafani’s walk totals were also unimpressive. In two of those first three games, DeSclafani offered up three passes.
Thankfully DeSclafani got back on track during the Reds’ West Coast trip to San Diego. In his start against the Padres, DeSclafani went 6 innings, stuck out 6, and walked only 1 batter. He did give up a solo shot to Fernando Tatis Jr., but only allowed one other hit during the game.
Disco followed that up with three sizzling performances against the St. Louis Cardinals, New York Mets, and San Francisco Giants. In those 3 games, DeSclafani logged 17.2 innings, struck out 22 batters, and allowed only 6 walks and 1 home run. Opposing hitters were only slashing .175/.257/.286. DeSclafani’s ERA in those three games was a phenomenal 1.53.
That three-game stint had Anthony DeSclafani reaching Luis Castillo territory. The right-hander showed why the Reds have stuck with him for so long, allowing him to come back from injuries that robbed DeSclafani of nearly two years.
But, Disco’s last outing against the Giants was not as spectacular. DeSclafani went just 4 innings in the Reds’ visit to Oracle Park, which is normally very pitcher-friendly. DeSclafani did not find it very welcoming as he allowed 8 hits, including a home run in the first inning to Evan Longoria. Disco would be touched up for 4 runs and only struck out 2 batters.
In all fairness to Anthony DeSclafani, he’d just pitched 5 days earlier to the same Giants team. If anyone was going to have a blueprint for how to get base knocks against Disco, it was the San Fransisco Giants. If the third time through the order is dangerous for the opposing pitcher, what do the analytics say about the fourth or fifth time?
Anthony DeSclafani gets a chance to hop right back on the horse tonight against the Los Angeles Dodgers and prove that last week’s performance in The Bay Area was a fluke. The key for DeSclafani will be keeping the ball in the park.
The Dodgers lead the National League in home runs and if Anthony DeSclafani and the Cincinnati Reds’ pitching staff hope to have any chance of winning tonight’s game, the ball can’t leave the yard.
DeSclafani has struggled against left-handers this season. Lefties are smacking Disco around the tune of .296 while right-handed batters are only hitting .174. Unfortunately for DeSclafani, the Dodgers will likely have a left-handed heavy lineup with Cody Bellinger, Joe Pederson, Max Muncy, and Alex Verdugo.
It was Pederson who took DeSclafani deep last season when the Reds and Dodgers faced off. In fact, Pederson was 2-for-3 against Disco with a home run and a double. For his career, Pederson is 4-for-9 with 2 home runs and 4 RBIs. DeSclafani versus Pederson should be fun to watch.
The Cincinnati Reds have won 4 of their last 6 games after taking a 3-game series from both the San Francisco Giants and the Chicago Cubs. With the Reds 7-13 record in one-run affairs, you can bet the upcoming series will feature some stiff competition. The Dodgers swept the Reds at Chavez Ravine, it’s time for Cincinnati to return the favor. It starts tonight with Disco on the hill.