Cincinnati Reds: Mystery starter revealed with Ohio Cup on the line

CINCINNATI, OH - JULY 27: Tejay Antone #70 of the Cincinnati Reds (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - JULY 27: Tejay Antone #70 of the Cincinnati Reds (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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Cincinnati Reds
CINCINNATI, OH – AUGUST 3: Francisco Lindor #12 of the Cleveland Indians is tagged out by Freddy Galvis #3 of the Cincinnati Reds (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) /

The Reds send Tejay Antone to the mound on Wednesday night versus the Indians.

During the first two games of the 2020 Ohio Cup series, the Cincinnati Reds and the Cleveland Indians have played to type. Before the series began, we discussed it would likely be dominated by starting pitching with both offenses struggling to score runs. That’s exactly what happened.

True to form, the Reds smacked balls over the fence while struggling to catch anything hit their way and watched the bullpen implode in the late innings. Meanwhile, the Indians received excellent starting pitching and scuffled to string base hits together.

Last night’s contest was one that Reds Country has seen too many times already this season. The defense struggled to make routine plays in the field while the bullpen walked the bases full and gave up a game-deciding round-tripper. Three times in 11 games, the Reds relief corps have surrendered a game-winning homer in the 8th inning or later.

Give Cleveland credit. The Reds were more than willing to hand the Indians gifts and they took advantage of it. Of the six runs the Tribe scored in the first two games, half of those were of the unearned variety.

To put into perspective how generous the Reds have been, the Indians had more runs (4) than hits (3) in Tuesday night’s showdown. In addition to the eight hits combined the Indians had in the two games at Great American Ball Park, they received as many free passes from the Cincinnati pitching staff.

As the scene shifts to Progressive Field, the Cincinnati Reds are entering a ballpark where they’ve had a fair amount of success in recent years. Cincinnati has not dropped a series in Cleveland since the 2016 campaign. Let’s hope that streak continues. Though we’ve already seen the Indians in back-to-back games, let’s take a closer look at the Tribe.