Reds vs Brewers: Preview, pitching matchups and prediction

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - AUGUST 09: Tucker Barnhart #16 of the Cincinnati Reds forces out Keston Hiura. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - AUGUST 09: Tucker Barnhart #16 of the Cincinnati Reds forces out Keston Hiura. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
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MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – AUGUST 09: Michael Lorenzen #21 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches in the sixth inning. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – AUGUST 09: Michael Lorenzen #21 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches in the sixth inning. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

Mikey Biceps has turned in a trio of effective outings

No one is going to forget the Michael Lorenzen meltdown in Milwaukee on August 9th anytime soon. In that sixth inning appearance, Lorenzen failed to retire any of the four batters he faced while walking three and allowing one hit. Three of those runners dented the plate to raise his ERA to eye-popping 16.88 mark. It was arguably the worst performance of his career.

Fast forward a couple of weeks and Lorenzen is looking like the once-reliable reliever he’s been the last several seasons for the Reds. In three appearances since the debacle in Milwaukee, Michael Lorenzen has worked seven shutout frames while only allowing four hits. This is what the Reds and their fans had envisioned for the 28-year-old right-hander.

It’s painfully clear that this is the version of Lorenzen that the Cincinnati Reds will need going forward. Outside of Lucas Sims and Amir Garrett, manager David Bell has struggled to find anyone to reliably record outs from the Reds bullpen.

Reds Closer Raisel Iglesias’ appearances remain a constant roller coaster ride while fellow right-hander Nate Jones has been ineffective as well. If the Reds are going to lock down close contest they’ll need the Michael Lorenzen of the past two weeks.

Prediction

The trip to St. Louis continued to go the way of most visits to the Gateway City. In other words, a disaster for the Cincinnati Reds. After dropping 3-of-4 to the Redbirds, Cincinnati is dancing perilously close to the edge of falling out of playoff contention. Even though the calendar has yet to turn to September, the Reds find themselves in a must-win series.

Next. 15 greatest Reds trade deadline deals

A split will not suffice. Can this Reds team really capture at least three from the Brewers? You betcha. Look for the Reds to take 3-of-4 before returning to GABP for a crucial homestand against the Cubs, Cardinals and Pirates. It’s go time, Reds.