The Cincinnati Reds pitching staff has provided some major highlights this season. That includes Anthony DeSclafani, who’s having a bounce-back season.
This is one case where the win-loss record does not show how good the pitcher has been. Despite an even 9-9 record, Anthony DeSclafani has started 29 games for the Cincinnati Reds this year with 10 quality starts. Disco has thrown 2,496 pitches over 155.2 innings this season. He has an opponent’s batting average of .236, which is the lowest of his career.
The struggle for DeSclafani this season has mostly been because of a lack of run support from the offense; safe to say that Sonny Gray would have the same complaint. DeSclafani’s record is 0-6 in games where the offense scores two runs or less and 3-2 in games where the offense scored 3-5 runs. Sadly the Reds inability to put runs on the board has wasted some excellent pitching performances from Disco.
Most recently, DeSclafani’s start against the Arizona Diamondbacks saw the right-hander pitch seven innings, strike out five batters, give up just one hit and one run, only to be hung with the loss because the Reds offense had just three hits, left eight runners on base and scored no runs. The lone run given up by DeSclafani was the only run scored by either team in the game.
With the starting rotation the Cincinnati Reds had last season, DeSclafani was one of the strongest pitchers in the rotation despite his 7-8 record and a 4.93 ERA. It became clear however, once Sonny Gray found his groove and with the reliability of Tanner Roark and Luis Castillo in the 2019 rotation, that DeSclafani would actually be one of the weaker members of the rotation.
However, excluding a few rough outings this season, Disco has been solid. One of his most memorable outings came back in May against the New York Mets with DeSclafani toeing the rubber against Mets ace Jacob deGrom. Disco was able to match deGrom almost exactly pitch-for-pitch through 5.2 innings.
DeSclafani struck out eight batters, allowed only three hits and walked only one in that game. Disco also managed to have one of the Reds four hits that day. On the other hand, deGrom also gave up just three hits, walked two, and struck out six batters. It ended up being an excellent pitchers duel.
After injuries limited his playing time and held him back in past seasons, Anthony DeSclafani came into 2019 with something to prove to the Reds front office and coaching staff. Taking in to account that several of his quality starts have been wasted because of the offensive struggles this season, I think it’s safe to say he has done that.
DeSclafani isn’t going to go out and do what Gray, Castillo or even Trevor Bauer are going to do, but he has done a lot to help the Cincinnati Reds this season. Had a few things gone his way, DeSclafani’s record would be more indicative of how well he has pitched this season.