Reds vs. Indians: Pitching preview, prediction, and more

CLEVELAND, OH - AUGUST 06: Joey Votto #19 of the Cincinnati Reds stands with Carlos Santana #41 of the Cleveland Indians during the first inning. (Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - AUGUST 06: Joey Votto #19 of the Cincinnati Reds stands with Carlos Santana #41 of the Cleveland Indians during the first inning. (Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images) /
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Mike Moustakas #9 of the Cincinnati Reds reacts after being hit by a pitch during the seventh inning.
PHOENIX, ARIZONA – APRIL 09: Mike Moustakas #9 of the Cincinnati Reds reacts after being hit by a pitch during the seventh inning. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Will the real Reds offense please stand up?

This time last week, the Cincinnati Reds offense appeared to be an unstoppable juggernaut ready to steamroll any pitching staff that dared took the mound. After scoring 57 runs in six contests at Great American Ball Park, the Redlegs were prepared to take their act on the road.

Let’s be kind and call their first road trip of the year a humbling experience. The Cincinnati offense managed just 18 runs in six games while producing a horrific .206/.260./.352 slash line. It was also an incredibly underwhelming performance by the Reds youngsters.

Jonathan India, Nick Senzel, and Tyler Stephenson combined to go 6-for-45 without an extra-base hit. Let’s hope the friendly setting of GABP breathes some life into their sluggish bats.

There’s no delicate way to say it, but the Cincinnati bullpen has been awful to start the season. Entering play yesterday, their 24 walks were tied for the third-most in the National League while the eight gopher balls served up only trails the Miami Marlins tally of nine for the most in the senior circuit.

The trio of Cam Bedrosian, Amir Garrett, and Cionel Perez has allowed 15 runs in only 12 innings of work. But wait, it gets worse. They’ve also combined to issue 14 free passes and 16 hits. Ouch!

Norm Charlton and Rob Dibble aren’t walking through that door anytime soon. However, this is not entirely unexpected. The Reds front office took a gamble in the offseason by trading closer Raisel Iglesias and non-tendering Archie Bradley.  The early returns are snake eyes for the Reds bullpen.

Prediction

If the Reds are able to wake up the bats, Cincinnati’s offense definitely has the wherewithal to combat Cleveland’s pitching. The Reds are going to need some solid performances from their starters as well.

3 trade packages for Aristides Aquino. Next

Recent history tells us the Ohio Cup trophy couldn’t find its way to Cincinnati with a map.  Nevertheless, I sense a wind of change lingering in the Buckeye State. Call it the curse of Francisco Lindor, but beginning in 2021, the trophy will take residence in the Queen City as the Redlegs till take two of three from the Tribe.