Reds schedule: Pitching will be front and center in battle for the Ohio Cup

CINCINNATI, OH - JULY 14: Sonny Gray #54 of the Cincinnati Reds (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - JULY 14: Sonny Gray #54 of the Cincinnati Reds (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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Cincinnati Reds
CLEVELAND, OHIO – JULY 29: Jose Ramirez #11 of the Cleveland Indians (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

Indians bats look for life against the Reds

For starters, the Indians are fortunate to be at .500. Through their first 10 games, they scored less than four runs in seven contests. In fact, they’ve scored more than five runs just once and have only crossed home plate 26 times all season.

Even though the team is slashing a feeble .206/.301/.296, there is one member of the Tribe who has kept the offense afloat. Third baseman Jose Ramirez is raking to begin the season. Slashing .375/.474/.625 with two homers and 5 RBIs, the 27-year-old Dominican has been a force in the lineup. However, he’s never found Great American Ball Park to his liking.

Appearing in 11 games in the Queen City, Ramirez is slashing just .239/.294/.435 in 46 at-bats. However, don’t think it’s to your advantage to force the switch-hitting Ramirez to hit from the right side of the plate late in games. For his career, Ramirez is hitting .277 against right-handers and .288 versus southpaws. The two-time All-Sar can flat-out hit.

A couple of other Indians are finding success at the dish as well. Centerfielder Bradley Zimmer is slashing .294/.409/.471 with a homer, while new second baseman Cesar Hernandez has made a positive first impression in Cleveland. A longtime member of the Philadelphia Phillies, Hernandez is hitting .300 and reaching base at a .382 clip.

This is a series where the Reds will need to make the most of every opportunity they are given because the Cleveland pitching staff is just plain nasty. Indians’ starters have compiled a 2.37 ERA as a group and are averaging 12.2 strikeouts per nine innings.

However, don’t think it’s a matter of getting to their bullpen because the relief corps is just as filthy as the rotation. The bullpen is sporting a 1.96 ERA and has not allowed a homer while surrendering just 14 hits in 23 innings. That’s the epitome of a lockdown bullpen.