A pivotal road trip for the Cincinnati Reds begins with a visit to St. Louis against the rival Cardinals. Can Joey Votto’s scorching hot bat stay lit?
Over the past week the Cincinnati Reds (27-32) could not get out of their own way. A perfect opportunity presented itself to finally crawl out of the NL Central cellar. Despite a return to form by Joey Votto last week, the Reds squandered multiple chances and once again face the challenge of escaping the division basement.
Four is a magic number for the Cincinnati Reds. When the team plates at least 4 runners, they are 22-10. However, when they score less than 4, they are a dismal 5-22. Statistically the Reds have the second best pitching staff in the National League. Unfortunately, they’ve played numerous low-run games, which they’re losing.
The Reds pitching staff has done everything possible to keep the club competitive. Entering play Monday they are first in the senior circuit in shutouts (7), home runs allowed (63), and strikeouts (572) while placing second in ERA (3.73). Perhaps the most positive sign for the staff is receiving production from both the rotation and the bullpen.
Cincinnati Reds’ starters have compiled a 3.70 ERA and are averaging 9.9 K’s per 9 innings. The bullpen has nearly matched those figures by contributing a 3.78 ERA and 9.7 K’s per 9 innings. Whether they are playing at home or on the road, the results have been the same.
Playing in the hitter-friendly Great American Ball Park, Reds’ hurlers have totaled a 3.82 ERA, while posting a 3.62 ERA away from the Queen City. The additions of Sonny Gray and Tanner Roark cannot be overstated, but the giant leaps forward by Luis Castillo and Amir Garrett have been essential to the pitching staff’s success.